“God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. When I run I feel his pleasure”
These are famous words attributed to Eric Liddell, the great Scottish Olympian who as a Christian saw no higher calling than to enjoy God in all he did: running, preaching and finally as a missionary to China. He makes a stark contrast with his rival team mate, Harold Abrahms in the film, who utters the devastating words: “I look down that corridor, 4 ft wide, with 10 lonely seconds to justify my whole existence”.
What two polar opposite ways of running a race. One out of a fear of failure, the other through a joy at being accepted; one using the race to make himself great, the other using it to enjoy a God who is great; one slogging his guts out to justify himself; one delighting in a God who loves and justifies him freely.
Just a film script? Perhaps, but isn’t that the classic problem we face in running with perseverance the Christian race marked out for us? (Heb 12:1). The danger that all our Christian service, activity and action can be motivated by duty, fear, people pleasing or the subtle desire for God to love us more because of what we have achieved for Him.
University ends, life looms large and we embark upon a lifetime of living and speaking for Jesus in the big wide world. Relay is a unique discipleship training year that aims to ground people firmly in the love of Jesus and work God’s grace into every corner of life because that is what facilitates radical Christian living in whatever career or ministry we may venture into.
Relay is the only training programme that keeps you directly involved with CUs as you work alongside students to reach campuses with the message of Jesus. You get trained and mentored by some of the best bible teachers in the country, learn ministry skills and put them into practice and get to know the bible and do some stretching theological study. Through it all our aim is to point you towards a God who is lovely and encourage you to get to know and enjoy who he is.
If you’re someone who would love to keep running after university with the joy of an Eric Liddell; fixing your eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2), then Relay could be for you.
Lewis Green co-ordinates the UCCF Relay Programme.
Find out more about Relay