The Amazing Race
“If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run the straight race.” –Eric Liddell, The Chariots of Fire
1 Samuel 2:3
…Those who honor me I will honor…
Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Unlike all the amazing runners who won gold medal in the Olympics, Eric Liddell’s running style was rather ugly in comparison. He had a huge rambling strides, head thrown back, and arms slumping in the air!
Yet, Liddell is known as the fastest runner in Scotland, known as the “Flying Scotsman”, winning race after race. His first race was in 1921 followed by his first run outside the Scotland in 1923. And in 1924 Paris Olympics he won gold, the first of his country. But what’s remarkable in his Olympic race was not the gold medal that he won. It was how he won the gold medal.
Before his athletic career, he was already resolved that the race he will chiefly run was not on the cinder track. His goals go beyond winning national or international races or even beyond Olympics. His main goal was to serve and follow God.
When he found out that his final 100 meter race, his best event, fall on a Sunday he declined to run. Aside from the fact that he had a sermon assignment on that day, Liddell always kept the Sabbath day holy and he’s not going to break it just for Olympics. All of Scotland was in outraged when they found out that their hope for Olympic gold was dashed.
So Liddell agreed to do the 400 meter races, which do not fall on a Sunday. 400 meter was somewhat out of his league so little was expected of him. Regardless, he astounded the world not only by winning gold but also by breaking the world record at that time! His fame spread all over as he returned home a national hero. While living the life of a celebrity, he used his many speaking engagements to share and spread his faith.
In 1925, he left all this glamour, fame, and fortune to return to China and served the Lord as a missionary. He remained as a faithful servant of God up to his last breath uttering the words, “It is surrender”. He has indeed finished his race, pouring out his life for the cause of Christ.
Perhaps his success gained him respect for his day, but his decision to put God above all else gained him a special reward for eternity.
Question to ponder upon today:
- What are the affairs of this life that interfere with our devotion to God?
Live today pleasing the One who enlisted us as a soldier. 2Timothy 2:4
- The Chariots of Fire movie
- Heroes for Young Readers Eric Liddell: Running for a Higher Prize