Written by Ryan Gaydos and published on September 21, 2020, the piece told about a Spanish triathlon competitor who was praised on social media last week after his act of decency during an event went viral.
It seems that a certain Diego Mentrida, of Spain, let another competitor, James Teagle, of Britain, cross the finish line ahead of him at the recent 2020 Santander Triathlon, held back on Sept. 13. For whatever reason, however, word of Mentrida’s gracious deed did not trickle out until late last week.
Apparently, Teagle was on pace to finish in third place in the annual race held in Spain when he mistakenly took a wrong turn a few miles short of the finish line. Thus, Mentrida passed Teagle. But, noticing the mistake and sensing it was the right thing to do, he then allowed his competitor catch and pass him.
Asked later about his reasoning, he responded by saying, “When I saw that he had missed the route, I just stopped. James deserved this medal.” He went on to explain why, saying, “This is something my parents and my club taught me since I was a child. In my view it should be a normal thing to do.”
According to the article, Mentrida would later be given an honorary third-place medal by the event’s organizers, and received the same prize money as Teagle. Better yet, Javier Gomez Noya, who actually won the race, called Mentrida’s act “the best in history.”
As I read this article, I could not help but see the parallels in what is expected of followers of Jesus Christ. Our Lord both preached and practiced the business of sacrifice on behalf of others. He preached it in the New Testament Gospel of John (chapter 15, verse 13), when He said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.”
He practiced it when He went on to do just that. In the New Testament Book of Romans (chapter 5, verse 8), the apostle Paul declares, “God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ laid down His life for us.”
Later on in the New Testament, the Apostle John then adds this admonition (in his First General Epistle, chapter 3, verse 16): “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Diego Mentrida must have had the principle of self-sacrifice instilled within him. He both practiced and preached it. As followers of Jesus Christ, we too have had this same principle instilled within us. May we also faithfully preach and practice it!
Oh, and for what it’s worth… The man who actually won the race, Javier Gomez Noya, would eventually top off Diego Mentrida’s various rewards with a hearty personal affirmation of praise.
In like manner, the Bible promises us various rewards for a life of sacrifice. But more to the point, it affirms that all those who follow Jesus Christ and employ His teachings will one day hear these powerful words from Him: “Well done, good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joys of thy Lord!”
In light of this, I leave you with the admonition of the writer of the New Testament Book of Hebrews, who in chapter 12, verses 1 and 2: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
The writer, Ryan Gaydos, is a sports reporter for www.FoxNews.com and www.FoxBusiness.com. He can be followed on Twitter @Gaydos_.