Purpose and Pleasure

Every time I look at this picture from Chariots of Fire I am reminded of this line from the movie:
I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.
I think that passion can be defined using two words from this line: purpose and pleasure. When Eric Liddel, missionary to China, ran in the 1924 Olympics he ran as a man filled with passion.. passion for God.. if you remember the movie.. he would not run in a Sunday race because of his conviction about the Sabbath. He also seemed to have a passion for life.. it seemed that whatever he did with all he had. It reminds me of this passage of scripture:
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Here is a passage from another scene in the movie where Eric is addressing a crowd that watched him race:
You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job.

So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.
I find that those I know who seem to have real passion for the kingdom of God seem to have a deep inner purpose and experience pleasure in carrying out that purpose. Have you been around people like that? What do you think of when you hear the word passion?


  1. Bob, the thing I take from that passage of scripture is whatever you do. If people can find that one thing in their lives that is their "special purpose", more power to them. But, I think a lot of people keep looking for that and miss the daily purpose we all have in our lives. For me, it's about trying to keep each and every moment and each and every act important, special, holy, if you will.

    Each moment is special and every little thing we do has a much greater impact that we can ever fully realize.


  2. I agree with you Brian about the whatever.. I think of Brother Lawrence practicing the presence of God while doing the dishes.. don't think that I am quite there yet :)

  3. Bob,

    Not many of us are there yet. But, every moment we are aware we're not there is, in itself, a moment of awareness.


  4. loved that film. Maybe I'll rent it out and watch it with my daughter.

    we love Mr Monk but our favourite is Hercules P. and there's also been a series with Felicity Kendal about 2 Englsih (very English) lady PIs it's a lot of fun as well.

  5. good post,Bob.

    I love the movie too especially its theme music.

    Bob, you have rightly connected purpose with passion. It is becoming rare to see these two in combination. Nowadays we see more purpose with managament, purpose with technology, romanticism with passion. Eric Lidell had always encouraged me with his purpose and his passion.


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