Last Sunday I blogged about Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner and Scottish missionary featured in the movie Chariots of Fire. I told about how when he learned that the heats of the race that was his strongest were to be held on a Sunday, he made a decision not to enter it. He did enter the 400 meter race, whose heats were not held on Sunday. That was a race he was not expected to win, based on previous times.
I don’t recall if this was shown in Chariots of Fire — it may have been, but if it was, it hit me harder when reading through his story this time than previously. A day or so after the 100 meter had already been run, as he was getting ready to compete in the 400 meter, an American Olympic team masseuse handed him a slip of paper on which had been written,
“In the old book it says, ‘He that honours me I will honour.’ Wishing you the best of success always.” (Source: The Eric Liddell Centre – Quotations )
The phrase mentioned is from 1 Samuel 2:30, “…for those who honor Me, I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.
The timing was exquisite.
Because shortly thereafter Liddell won the race that he was not expected to win. Everyone thought he had given up his chance at Olympic gold and God gave him one anyway. I love that.
Although, as I said in the previous post, he’s going to get a lot more than a gold medal in eternity!
For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? ~ 1 Th 2:19
It’s been a long time since I saw the movie, but if I remember correctly, in the fictionalized account one of the other runners (the American?) gave him that note with those words. In fact, I didn’t know until I just read your post that in reality anyone had actually given him such a note. I think that’s cool!