Most professional cyclists spend their entire careers sacrificing their ambitions while helping others attain theirs. The cycling world refers to these riders as domestiques, which means "servants" in French. They place themselves in service of their team leader. Domestiques' responsibilities include falling back to the team car to grab water bottles and food for their team leader, protecting their leader from the wind by allowing him to ride in their slipstream (saving him about 30% of his energy by drafting), and giving their bike or wheel to their team leader if he has a mechanical issue. Domestiques rarely win a professional race throughout their career.
But something unusual happened in this year’s edition of the Tour de France, the world's most demanding endurance race. A domestique, Geraint Thomas, won the Tour de France. Geraint Thomas played an instrumental role in Chris Froome winning four Tour de France victories. However, the team allowed him to pursue his ambitions to don the Yellow Jersey (the overall leader's jersey). Eventually, Thomas experienced the glory of wearing the Yellow Jersey on the top step of the podium in Paris.
In a way, this reminds me of the kind of humility and exaltation Paul describes in Philippians 2:5-11.
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Over the years, I've always wondered why Paul starts verse 9 with "therefore." As a young Christian, I recall taking a class on the subject of interpreting the Bible and the teacher said something that etched itself in my memory. "Whenever you encounter a therefore, ask yourself, 'What's the therefore, there for?'" I never quite understood how Paul connected the idea of Jesus humiliation and God's exaltation.
Something clicked as I was reading this passage a few days ago. Paul must've been alluding to a statement Jesus made in Luke 14:11 when he wrote Philippians 2: "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Jesus humbled himself by taking on human flesh, coming to earth and sacrificially dying on the cross. Therefore, God lifted him and exalted him to the highest place. Luke 14:11 also fits with what the Apostle Peter teaches in 1 Peter 5:6. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
God built within us the desire for glory and exaltation. But instead of seeking glory for ourselves through our accomplishments, our moral fortitude, etc., God intends to give us his glory. As electricity illuminates the filament of an incandescent light bulb, God will use us as a conduit to transmit his glory.
He promises to exalt us in due time. But in the meantime, God calls us to take the lower seat by humbly serving and loving the people whom he has placed in our lives (Luke 14:10).
 The 105th edition of the Tour de France covered 2082 miles of racing in just 21 days, one of the shortest routes in recent history.