I went to the church office this past week. I caught the eye of the minister as he was coming out of the kitchen eating a snack—a bowl of oatmeal. My cereal of choice is called Holy Crap. Maybe there is a lesson in the oatmeal, as he is a healthy guy.
Who in Scotland, likely raised on oatmeal, is inspiring? I thought for a bit. Eric Liddell came to mind. He didn’t make his claim to fame as a Hollywood actor in the movie, Chariots of Fire. No, he was a first rate Olympian, representing Great Britain. He was also an Evangelical Christian, whose sister served with the China Inland Mission. More noteworthy, Eric Liddell forfeited an opportunity to run in the 100 metre heats, his best event, because it was scheduled on Sunday. There is a commandment that Eric Liddell obeyed. Keep the Sabbath day holy, meaning set apart for God. Exodus 34:28 In James 1:22 the Bible says, “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. “ “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Eric ran the 400 metre race, a long shot, and won the gold medal. His stand was a witness to all the world about obedience to the God he loved and served. After the Olympics he humbly served God with the China Inland Mission before he was captured by the Japanese. He died in China, a prisoner of war.
Henri Nouwen writes that the discipline of prayer is something for which we strive. It is in being obedient and listening to the voice of God that we receive the truth that we are His beloved. To pray is to let the voice speak to the centre of our being to permeate our whole life.
Who am I? I am the beloved . If we are not claiming that voice as the deepest truth of our being, then we cannot walk freely in this world. Henri Nouwen explains that ministry starts because our freedom is anchored in claiming our belovedness.
The Upper Room July-August 2014
Obedience means that God’s Word is taken seriously. It is listening to Jesus as he speaks to the people telling them to live scripture, not just “hear it and ignore it”. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—it is not of yourselves. It is the gift from God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2: 8-10!
So which one did God speak through? No, it was not the Holy Crap. It was the oatmeal—a snack to give power and strength. I’ll have to follow my Scottish ancestors and cook up the oatmeal, remembering Eric Liddell, the wonderful saint and champion for God.