Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chariots of Fire

Recommend you see it. Chariots of Fire, an old movie from the 1980's, definitely a classic brings encouragement to us all to live up to our convictions. I had seen this movie before but for some reason had always been distracted while watching it, perhaps with children or chores, but tonight I really got to watch it, as it portrays the life of Eric Liddell, an Olympic runner, his training, his everyday life, rivals, and who he revered. You can see images and a brief note, about Eric Liddell here.

On continued research on Eric Liddell, I came upon more details about his life and character on Wikipedia. An interesting note on Wikipedia, which differs from the movie, is that Liddell learned of the date of the qualifying heat being on a Sunday (which conflicted with his conviction that Sundays were holy) at least three months before the 1924 Olympic competition. It is not far fetched to speculate that he endured a great deal more psychological persecution by those who wanted him participate the qualifying race, than that one incident with the Prince of Wales, as shown in the film.

Not long afterward Liddell returns to China to serve there as a missionary. He went on to marry the daughter of Canadian missionaries, Florence Mackenzie, and have three daughters. During increasing Japanese aggression during the Second World War he sends his family to safety in Canada while he is placed in an internment camp and subsequently dies there of an inoperable brain tumor and malnutrition. Of his life in the internment camp, Norman Cliff, a fellow missionary and author, wrote a book about their experiences in a book titled, Courtyard of the Happy Way. Other books, by and about him, as well as documentaries, are also listed. The excellent information found at Wikipedia portrays a man who consistently lived his life in total surrender to Christ. It was later learned after his death, that he in fact had been offered liberation from the prison camp in China but refused it and instead let a pregnant woman take his place.

By coincidence, I realized that his birth was on January 16, 1902, a day like today.

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