By, Linda DeSilva
When you are young, it can be very easy to let life drift by – especially today when there are so many distractions. So, it is great when a young person has succeeded in some field of endeavour, having had ambitions since childhood to become a nurse, doctor, lawyer, teacher, artist, plumber, builder, engineer, etc. Focus for the future is the key to success. ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!’
The people who succeed are those who have a life-plan. They have ambition and drive – a goal. It may be fame, prestige, money, etc. For the follower of Christ, the question will be, like Saul on the road to Damascus: “Lord, what do YOU want me to do?”
When we genuinely want to know and do God’s will, He will guide us on to the right path when we have taken a wrong turn. Saul thought he was doing God’s will as he hunted down the followers of Jesus and participated in the murder of Stephen. But, when Jesus confronted him as he made his way to Damascus to kill Christians, Saul recognized the error of his ways, turned to Christ and became the great Apostle Paul who laboured tirelessly for the Gospel. (See Acts chapter 9)
God evaluates success on a different scale from the world’s criteria. Money, wealth, and prestige are the world’s standard for success. Faithfulness to Him in our work – whatever that may be – is God’s measure. God has His witnesses in many walks of life – including sports.
The Bermuda Half Marathon has been our Island’s focus this week. Fittingly, the Christian life is described in the Bible as a race (Hebrews 12:1 & 2) so there is a link. Older Bermudians will recall Sir George Ratteray’s success and ‘Sir’ Stanley Burgess’s annual appearance. Statisticians tell us that on May 6, 1954 Sir Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes (3:59.4). In the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, Eric Liddell (b.18.1.1902) won gold in the 400M and bronze in the 200M, but would not run in the 100M because heats were held on Sunday. Eric, when interviewed, said: ‘God’s glory is greater than gold’. Born in China, of missionary parents, after education in the U.K., Eric spent his adult life in Tientsin, spreading the gospel. In World War II, he was captured by the Japanese. In an internment camp, Eric ministered to his fellow prisoners, dying at the age of 43 (21:2:1945).
Eric Liddell’s focus: “God’s glory.” What is ours?