Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"I'm not running"

Tom McKerchar sat slumped in his chair, when a soft knock on his door caused him to sit up. “I believe it is here.”  Announced his secretary, placing an envelope on his desk.  He took it and ripped it open. Scanning the page, he found the schedule for the 100 metre race.  There it is, He thought, the 100 metre race.  And the first heats are on… his smile faded. The piece of paper slipped from his hands and floated gently to the floor.  He buried his head in his hands for a minute then stood up. “I will be out for a while; I need to catch up with Eric if I can.  Oh, and don’t tell anyone the schedule is in.”  He grabbed his coat and flew past the surprised secretary and out into the street.

“What is it Tom?  If you don’t mind, I’d have to say you don’t look well,” Eric looked concerned.  Tom cleared his throat, “It’s just, Eric, I know what you are going to say - but I wish I could change your mind.”

“Out with it man!  Only God can read minds.”  Eric motioned him on.

“The Olympic schedules came in today.  You know the Baron is trying to fit all the events into just two weeks.  So-”

“So, what is it Tom?”  Eric interrupted.

Tom took a deep breath, “The first heats for the 100-meter race are to be held on a Sunday, Eric.  July sixth to be exact.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Eric made it very clear that he was not going to run.  Sighing, Tom turned away and glanced out the window.

“Tom, God’s fourth commandment is to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  If I run in a race that honors me or other men, I am not remembering the Sabbath.  And if I start ignoring one of God’s commandments, I may as well ignore all of them.  But I can’t do that because I love God too much.”

Tom nodded.  Eric had never raced on a Sunday, and that wouldn’t change now, even for the Olympics.  “I’ll contact the authorities; that’s the next step, but Eric, are you ready for what will happen?  I mean the reporters?”

Eric simply answered, “Jesus never said that to follow Him would be easy.”

He later went on to run in the 200 metre race (he won bronze medal), and the 400 metre race (gold medal) in the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France.

The reason I post this is because 111 years ago today, my "Hero of the Faith," Eric Henry Liddell was born to missionaries James and Mary Liddell in Tientsin, China. 
His life (more specifically, his convictions to not run on the Sabbath) is an inspiration to me, as it is to many today.

"We are all missionaries. Wherever we go we either bring people nearer to Christ or we repel them from Christ."  -Eric Liddell

"...If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well…" -Eric Liddell

><> Elizabeth <><

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