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Chariots of Commitment

June 4, 2018

In the movie Chariots of Fire, we get to see events in the life of Eric Liddell, Olympic runner from Scotland - "The Flying Scotsman" - and his race to the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.  Liddell was the son of missionary parents in China and returned to his native Scotland to get his degree from University of Edinburgh.  There he gained fame playing rugby and running in the 100 and 220 yards races for the University, and played rugby for the University (from which he went on to play in the national rugby team).  As if that were not enough, Liddell played in the AAA Championships in athletics in the 100 and 220 yards and set a British record of 9.7 seconds (which would not be equaled for 23 years). He tried out for and went to the Paris Olympiad in 1924.

 

See the movie - buy it or rent it on Netflix or whatever.  It's a great movie.  But I want to focus on something he said to his sister, Jenny, when she was upset that his focus was on athletics, not serving God, as she interpreted what he was doing.  Eric says to Jenny, "I believe God made me for a purpose, and that's China - but he also made me fast.  And when I run, I feel His pleasure!"

 

Liddell once ran in a 440-yard race during a meet between England, Scotland, and Ireland at Stoke-On-Trent in England and was knocked down just a few strides into the race.  He got back up to his feet and closed the 20 yards lead his opponents had on him as a result of his fall, catching up to them and racing past them to break the tape at the finish line, collapsing there, but amazingly the winner despite the earlier fall.

 

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV)

 

Liddell went to China as a missionary with the China Inland Mission and was captured by the Japanese and placed in a civilian internment camp, where he died February 2, 1945 from an inoperable brain tumor.  His last words are said to have been "It's complete surrender." It is said that he had been given a chance to be released from the camp but refused it and gave the chance to a pregnant woman in an arranged prisoner exchange.

 

How do you run the race?  Do you give up when knocked down, or get up and determine to win as God gives you the power?  If it's "all surrender" to Christ for you, then you will, more than once.  Take a risk, get up again after you fall, run the race without giving up, feel His pleasure!  Let this be your testimony:  "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."  (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV) 

 

Blessings from here to eternity,
 
Pastor Drew

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