Padre’s Corner – Summer 2012
This summer will see the world’s eyes firmly focused on London. The 30th Olympiad will showcase sporting excellence as the world gathers to compete in the games. People have trained all their lives for that one moment. They seek just one thing, the elusive Gold medal of the Olympic and Paralympic games.
In 1924, Paris hosted the Olympic Games. A young Scot called Eric Liddell competed in the 200 and 400 metres, winning Bronze and Gold respectively. Following his success in Paris, Liddell became a missionary and moved to China to teach. He continued in this work until 1941 when Japanese aggressiveness caused the British government to advise their citizens to leave the country. Liddell’s wife and children left to go to Canada but he remained and went to a different missionary post where his brother worked as a doctor. He was captured and placed in Weihsien Internment Camp, where in 1945 he died. In 2008 Chinese authorities revealed that Liddell was offered the opportunity to leave but refused and gave it to a pregnant woman instead. A memorial to Liddell can be found today in the former Weihsien Internment Camp. His life was turned into a film called “Chariots of Fire”, a quote from the famous hymn ‘Jerusalem’.
Liddell realised that while the Gold medal was a great achievement, what really mattered was the legacy that he left behind following his death. The bible tells us that we should not build up treasures here on earth where they will eventually be destroyed, instead concentrate on those things that will not pass away. Working for the last year at RAF Wittering I know that there are many who give sacrificially of themselves for the benefit of others. I commend to you in this Olympic year to think about what legacy you leave behind as you journey through life.