"Therefore; whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory."
-1 Corinthians 10:31
I love sports-themed movies like "Facing the Giants," which I highly recommend. It is an inspirational story of courage, faith and the power of God's word. I am sure each of you can recall one of your own favorite sports movies, as well.
As great as "Facing the Giants" was, I have to say that my all-time favorite sports movie is "Chariots of Fire.". It was an internationally acclaimed Oscar-winning drama based on a true story. It tells of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics: Eric Liddle, a Christian Scotsman, and Harold Abrahams, a Jewish Englishman. The film crosscuts between each man's life as he trains for the competition and illustrates how each is fueled by very different desires. As compelling as the racing scenes are, the depth and motivation of the two main characters are what touches you throughout the movie.
One of my favorite parts from the movie is the scene when Eric Liddle is walking with his sister Jenny in the Scottish countryside. At this point in the movie Eric is explaining, or actually defending, to his sister (a devout Christian like Eric) all the time Eric spends running. Jenny is, in a sense, questioning Eric's faith and his commitment to the missionary field. After an extended dialogue trying to get Jenny to understand his running, Eric finally responds: "Jenny, you've got to understand, I believe God made me for a purpose--for China. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure."
In the movie, and in his real life, Eric Liddle used his talent as a gifted athlete to drive him, and he ran to win! He used the recognition he received to share his faith with those who came to see him race. In real life, Eric Liddle, after winning a Gold medal in the 1924 Olympics, did go on to full-time missionary work in China, but his running remained an important part of his life.
Just like Eric Liddle, as an FCA athlete, you know that God has made you for a purpose. But that same God has given you the desire and the ability to run or throw or perform in whatever sport you play. And, like Eric, God wants you to live for HIS PURPOSE, and He wants you to feel HIS PLEASURE.
1. What unique purpose do you feel God is calling you to?
2. When you are participating in sports do you feel God's pleasure?
3. How are you using your athletic gifts to share God's purpose with others?