More Than Conquerors
Greater Than Gold: Eric Liddel
“Let us put ourselves before ourselves and look at ourselves. The bravest moment of a person’s life is the moment when he looks at himself objectively without wincing, without complaining. However self-examination that does not result in action is dangerous. What am I going to do about what I see? The action called for is surrender – of ourselves to God.”
– Eric Liddell
What is worship? Consider two intimately related questions: First, what is the center of your week, the fulcrum of your activities? And second, what captivates you? What do you spend your best resources on, your deepest emotions, the majority of your free thoughts?
These questions make us think and realize what really matters to us.
Eric Liddell has been well known for his race in the 1924 Olympic games in Paris. He is more known for his bold decision to not compete on the 100-meter race, because it was on a Sunday. This shocked the crowd and Eric Liddell was faced with angry fans that accused him of being unpatriotic. Despite the crowd’s voices, Eric only tuned into one voice and chose to place greater worth on his God.
Having worship within the heart affects every aspect of life. In turning down the 100 meter, Eric Liddell ran the 400-meter out of his commitment to God, an event he did not expect to compete. However, God honored his decision. Eric won gold and set a new world record.
Most athletes would compete for their own glory and fame. But Eric chose to worship his God through his competition even big as the Olympics. If we can understand the difference between these two postures, we will understand a world of difference. The world of personal glory moves from triumph to emptiness because it can never deliver fulfillment of the spirit. History is replete with such examples. Why? Because each time one goal is attained, the heart yearns for another one yet greater.
Who will we choose to be? Those who walk away amidst thundering applause after winning but with a heart steeped in the disappointment of an anticlimax. Or Eric Liddell who also won, but he packed his bags and went on to China as a missionary to a cause greater than himself—his gold medal was put in its place, and his heart celebrated the lesser in the light of the greater. That puts life in perspective.