Fitness to Wear the Crown

 Marathon-runners In the movie, Chariots of Fire, English runner, Harold Abrahams, runs against the Scottish champion, Eric Liddell, and loses for the first time in his life.

The pain and frustration of losing is so intense that he decides he can never compete again.

His girlfriend, Cybil, says, “Harold, this is absolutely ridiculous. It’s a race you’ve lost, not a relative. Nobody’s dead.”

Harold responds, “I’ve lost.”

“I know. I was there. I remember watching you; it was marvelous. You were marvelous. He was more marvelous, that’s all. On that day, the best man won…he was ahead, there was nothing you could have done. He won fair and square.”

“Well, that’s that,” Abrahams says.

“If you can’t take a beating, perhaps it’s for the best.”

“I don’t run to take beatings – I run to win!” Harold shouts. “If I can’t win, I won’t run.”

“If you don’t run, you can’t win.”

Cybil pauses, and then says to him firmly, “If you don’t run, you can’t win.” 1

Paul declared, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain” (1 Corinthians 9:24).

The Amplified Bible reads, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize], and make it yours.”

“From strength to strength go on,
Wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the golden day.” 2

“It is not the start, but the end, which determines the fitness to wear the crown.” 3

   Copyright © 2015 D & L Publications, All rights reserved.


1 John Ortberg, If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI., 49530, Copyright 2001, p. 147.

Arthur Wallis, God’s Chosen Fast, Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, PA., 19034, Copyright 1968, Poem by Charles Wesley, p. 87.

3  Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings In Joshua, Moody Press, Chicago, Copyright 1964 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, pp. 297 – 298.