The film Chariots of Fire is based on the true story of two British athletes pairing for and competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics. One athlete, Eric Liddell, qualified to be part of the team. When he discovered that his qualifying heat for the 100 meters, his signature race, was scheduled for Sunday, he faced an issue of conscience. Given his interpretation of the fourth commandment, to “cease” and keep the Sabbath holy, he decided against competing in the games.
The decision to give up his spot in the race rather than dishonor the Lord was surprisingly rewarded. His teammate, who had already won an Olympic medal, selflessly offered to let Liddell take his place in the 400-meter dash, an event contested midweek. Gratefully, Liddell accepted, and he went on to win the race and a gold medal, setting an Olympic record in the process.
What stands out about Liddell are his faith and appreciation for divine design. Often quoted, he said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.”
Yes, your intentional uniqueness is central to God’s plan. And your personal thread is part of his flawless fabric and greater story. It’s true.
Consider Kelvyn Koning ’17. Often, you’ll find him delivering a piano concerto or writing an original song. He said, “When they hear the music, they’re hearing the creator’s work that’s taking place through his creation … I have a very real sense that this is what I was made to do. And if I can glorify him with this, and he, and he loves me.”
Have you heard of Katie Davis Majors? She founded Amazima Ministries with a mission to live out the love of Jesus by educating and empowering the people of Uganda and the communities it serves. She said, “I’m blown away that my God, who could do all of this by himself, would choose to let me be a little part of it.”
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Catholic nun and missionary Mother Terersa. After 20 years as a nun and schoolteacher, she started the Missionaries of Charity. She wrote, “Each of us is merely a small instrument. When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, often you see small and big wires, old and new, cheap and expensive lined up. Until the current passes through them there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The current is God.”
Yes, while the Lord of lords could have done it all alone, instead he chose to involve Eric Liddell, Kelvyn Koning, Katie Davis Majors, Mother Teresa, and you in his work. Never fail to see the truth about your labor: Each day, you’re a vital worker in a workplace that’s illuminated by none other than the eternal Light of the World.