Win-win situation

Speed and excellence
"I believe that God made me for a purpose, for China. But he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure. . . . To win is to honor him.” So Eric Liddell says in a pivotal scene of the classic movie Chariots of Fire, defending the compatibility of his commitment both to serve as a Christian missionary to China (in the long-term) and to run in the 1924 Olympics in Paris (in the short-term).

I had just shown this scene to a gathering of laity and clergy, and one man observed: “I don’t believe that last line comes from Eric Liddell. It’s pure Hollywood. It is out of character for Liddell to be so focused on winning.” What followed was an interesting exchange about winning, its compatibility with Christian faith and the criteria by which we measure what it means to be a winner.


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