Comments That Count – Part Twelve

As new Olympic  athletes of faith emerge and inspire awe, it is a good time to reflect on the faith of some previous outstanding champions. 

Consider one of renown whose life was depicted in the film Chariots of Fire. His life as an athlete was a great expression of faith. “I believe God made me for a purpose. But he also made me fast,” Eric Liddell wrote in a letter to his sister Jenny.

However, an even greater expression of faith lived out during World War II. Liddell was taken prisoner by Japanese forces and devoted the last two years of his life to ministering to his fellow inmates at the Weixian Internment Camp in Shandong Province. He died just a few months short of the camp’s liberation by American forces.

Gail Devers, the only woman to compete in five Olympics commented, “I always said a prayer before I ran, and my prayer was to win. My prayer  was that God would allow me to run my best on that day, or better than my best. So whatever the outcome is, I have to be satisfied with it if I know I gave it my best effort.”

“I have learned that track doesn’t define me. My faith defines me. I’m running because I have been blessed with a gift.”

Allyson Felix found pleasure in doing whatever she did her best for the glory of God. “My faith is the reason I run – it calms my heart and makes everything feel like a lift. My speed is definitely a gift from Him, and I run for His glory. Whatever I do, He allows me to do it.”  

Florence Griffith Joyner ran so fast she was accused of using drugs, but never proven to do so, had a simple outlook. “I pray hard, work hard, and leave the rest to God.” That is a basic attitude toward life worthy of us all.

Usain Bolt is a name no lover of human speed will ever forget. His accomplishments were based on a personal faith. He“I want to thank God for everything He has done for me cause without Him none of this would have been possible”

Skater Aexa Scimeca Knierim, summed up the influence in her life this way, “When you’ve got God you’ve got it all.”

Mary Lou Retton found a sure foundation in her faith. “Faith is a gateway to happiness that remains permanently accessible to each of us, wherever we are, no matter our circumstances.”

As she has said, the gateway is open to each of us. Don’t miss that gateway and all it leads to.