Saturday, February 12, 2011

Could I do that? The Eric Liddell story

I guess it proved to myself that my worries about my blogging addiction were unfounded! Though my prolonged absence was certainly not due to any purposeful decision to stop blogging. It's just that coming home from work every day after 10 at night is not very conducive to putting down something coherent, especially if many of the hours at work have been spent on operations that have tested the limits of your skill, knowledge and equipment! Thank God for His mercies in keeping all our patients alive and well!

I was planning to restart blogging on Monday, time permitting, but saw the second part of Tim Challies biography of Eric Liddell and was too taken by the first paragraph to not repost it. Especially since this is something I have been thinking about lately and in fact have been discussing in a comments thread on a previous post. Eric Liddell did not seem to have any doubts as to how he made his decisions in life. Here is the paragraph in full.

In the first part we got as far as Eric Liddell returning to Scotland after winning two Olympic medals. And here he is, just 23 years old, a sports hero who still had at least another Olympics or two in him. He could have played professional rugby, he could have kept running. The world was before him. But he shut it all down and gave it all up, heading to China so he could preach the gospel. And here is a second lesson I see in his life. He was willing to give up everything for the sake of the gospel. Would you be willing to give up fame and money and popularity and everything else in order to heed the call of God? Let’s not make light of this and pretend like it was an easy thing. He was giving up everything most of us dream of. And it seems like it wasn’t difficult for him at all. He knew what God was calling him to do and he had no regrets, no second thoughts. Could you do that?

This is the question I ask myself - Could I do that? Give up all I hold dear for a higher calling? Eric Liddell was certainly someone who did.


  1. In one of the biographies I read of Liddell he ran a 200 meter race at an athletics meet in China while he was a teacher there in a faster time that the 1928 gold medalist...

    I wonder about the 'either/or' way that the whole thing is being set up... Did he have doubts? I am sure that there must have been some questions in his mind. But the glory of Liddells life was that he seems to have his priorities completely straight - God is to be glorified and adored with his whole life - hence going back to China as an adult - and living out his life till he dies in prisoner-of-war camp

    In the light of eternity - of 1 billion trillion years into the future - is another gold medal worth anything at all - compared to having a person with you through eternity who God has used you to touch during that brief flicker of life we had?

  2. I hadn't even heard of this guy until you mentioned him!

    And...Amen to Andi/Sheba's comment.

  3. Deepa - please watch "Chariots of Fire" - possibly the best film ever?

    I have seen it at least 6 times.

    Interesting side note - produced by the late Dodi El Fayed.

  4. I remember reading an anecdote about Eric Liddell somewhere. His father was also a missionary to China. When he was born, his father had decided to name him, Henry Eric Liddell. He was on his way to the registrar's office when he happened to meet a friend, who inquired about the name of the child. His friend pointed out that the problem that the initials (H.E.L) would cause to the kid as he grows up. Eric's father then decided that he would just reorganise the names to Eric Henry Liddell...

  5. Andi - ur 1 ahead of me. Will remedy that this week! Watched Chariots of Fire for the first time at a British Council screening in the days before tv, comps and DVDs. Fell in love with it and am looking forward to the latest revisit. Its easily available now in most bookstores Deepa - you hafta get it - one for the family. And thanks Andi and Jeevan for the interesting facts - amazing brains to remember these tidbits!