Millions of people came to know Eric Liddell through the prize-winning film Chariots of Fire. It depicted this Scottish athlete’s devotion to Jesus Christ and his refusal under severe pressure to violate his spiritual convictions—even at the expense of Olympic glory.
Ian Charleston, who played the role of Eric Liddell in the film, had to learn to run with his head tilted back in the style of that Olympic champion. On the sixth day of filming, Charleston concluded that Eric’s unconventional running style was inspired by trust. He “trusted to get there,” said Charleston. “He ran with faith. He didn’t even look where he was going.”
That trust carried over into Eric’s spiritual life. It was trust that took him to China as a missionary. Head up, trusting his Savior, he died young in a Japanese concentration camp, still faithfully serving God.
“Let us run,” Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us. Run as Paul did as he copied his example Jesus (1 Cor. 11:1). Run head up, trusting our Coach to get us to the goal He has set before us. Run not to gain the approval and applause of people nor to win any of this world’s trophies. Run so as to win “an imperishable crown” (9:25). How are you running?
Run the straight race through God's good grace,
Lift up your eyes and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path and Christ the prize. —Monsell
Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God. —Carey