Chariots of Fire

Happy Labor Day my friends. A while back, my wife and I watched the movie “Chariots of Fire“. Those of you that know me know I’m a movie guy, but I had never seen this classic Academy Award winning movie (it won 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture). I really enjoyed the movie and was moved by Eric Liddell’s convictions and great witness as a Christian. He was a great athlete, but very humble and a true sportsman (we will talk more about this tomorrow).

The scene that moved me the most was his refusal to run on a Sunday (at the Olympics- mind you) due to his conviction and sacred observance of the Sabbath. Now please know that I’m a HUGE believer in grace and a New Testament view of living. I absolutely hate legalism and run from it (I also know that there are many strong Christian football players that play on Sunday and strong Christian coaches that coach on Sunday and I’m okay with that), however, learning of Liddel’s taking a stand and passing up an opportunity to compete in the Olympics due to his desire to honor God was very refreshing.

If you haven’t seen the movie, I encourage you to watch it. If you have, you know that an American runner named Jackson Scholz handed Eric Liddell a note before he raced that said that since he had honored God, God would honor him. I believe that is the principle and take away for us today – that if we honor God and our convictions and commitments to Him, He will honor us.

I also think the principle of the Sabbath – observing a day of rest is desperately needed in our lives today. Far too many pastors and Church leaders struggle with burnout and depression and are in desperate need of rest. Rest from work. Rest from social media and the web. Rest from ambition and drive (I’m talking to myself). Just plain REST.

My encouragement to you, dear friends, on this holiday (and hopefully day off work) is to be sure to honor God and observe a day of rest. Your heart, health, wife, family and ministry will thank you for it. Be healthy my friends!

 

Greg Atkinson

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