Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

Monday Motivation: Eric Liddell

This weekend I watched two films about Eric Liddell, an Olympic sprinter known as the the Flying Scotsman. Born in China to missionaries, he was a devout Christian. He was scheduled to run the 100 meter for the United Kingdom at the 1924 Paris Olympics, but refused to run because the qualifying heat was on a Sunday. The olympic committee, after failing to convince him to change his mind, let him run the 400 meter instead. He won gold in Olympic record time.

After the Olympics he was a national hero. However, at the height of his popularity, he left to carry on his parents work as a missionary in China. When the Japanese invaded China in 1941, he chose to stay and work in a rural mission station serving the sick and injured. Eventually, his mission was overrun by the Japanese and he was sent to an internment camp. In 1945, at the age of 43, he died in occupied China.

Eric Liddell famously said, “God made me for a purpose and when I run I feel His pleasure.”

I wonder what you were made for? What is your purpose? What causes you to feel God’s pleasure? If you know, are you doing it?

Here’s to a week of doing what we were made for. This clip from the 1981 film Chariots of Fire reenacts Eric Liddell’s gold metal run.

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