Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10


 p9080083.JPGThis is a picture of our oldest grandson, Marshall David Anderson.  Marshall lives in San Antonio, Texas with his Dad (Chad), Mother (Joelle), and his Sister (Hayley).  Kathi and I just got off the phone with him.  He’s 13 years old and in the eighth grade.  It doesn’t take much to thrill grandparents.  We have four wonderful grandchildren and, if given the opportunity,  we could easily bore you with stories, exploits and anecdotes.  I keep trying to remember other people aren’t nearly as thrilled with our grandchildren as we are.  But, since this is my blog and I get to write what I want, then I think I’ll tell you about this fine young man.

Marshall called us to tell us he placed 3rd out of over 100 runners in a race of middle-school age students.  The course was 3000 meters (just 1/10 of a mile short of 2 miles for us old timers).  I asked him, if he was learning any life lessons as he ran.  He said, “Yes, when I run, I try not to think about how tired I am  but how I can catch the guy just ahead of me.  When I start getting tired, I just think about how much God can help me during and at the end of the race, if I trust him.”  

Marshall has wonderful parents.  Joelle is actually his coach and both her boys’ and girls ‘teams placed third overall in the meet.  She is doing a great job! Of course, we are just a little prejudiced.  Chad and Joelle have tried to instill in their children the importance of being leaders in school and in extra-curricular activities.  They both have a consistently good work ethic and are instilling those traits within their children.   Marshall told his Dad about a year ago that he wanted to be a spiritual leader.  Nothing could have made his parents more thankful.  Didn’t hurt the pride factor for the grandparents either.  Wink

I don’t know if you realize it or not but Chad and Joelle met on the cross-country team at Marshall University.  Our daughter, Stacye met her husband, Fernando Ibanez, at Marshall.  He played basketball for Marshall.  Kathi and I met and married, while at Marshall.  My mother had two degrees from Marshall.  My grandfather graduated in the class of 1897 and I have his graduation class picture.  Is it any wonder our oldest grandson’s name is, MARSHALL?

Seriously, as I look at the picture above, which was taken a year ago, and think about the precious gift he and all our granchildren are, I cannot help but desire the same drive and determination they put into sports and school will be dedicated to living for the glory of God.

Other than Jesus and maybe the Apostle Paul I think the person I most would like to have met in my life was Eric Liddle.eric-liddle.jpgEric was a world class sprinter in the 1920’s.  He ran for Scotland, but participated in the 1924 olympics under the flag of Great Britain.  Eric was the son of missionaries to China and was a committed Christian as well.  He, perhaps, had the most unorthodox running style of any world-class runner in history.  In the 100 meters he would run with his head up, looking to the sky.  His arms flailed wildly.  But, boy was he fast? In fact, there was a point in his life when his sister, Jenny, felt Eric was putting too much emphasis on his running and not thinking enough about the work in China.  A confrontation between Eric and his sister ensued.  Eric finally said, “Jenny, I know God made me for a purpose. He made me for China.  But he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure.”  During the Olympic games, Eric’s faith and convictions were put to the test.  The time trials for the 100 meter race were to be held on Sunday and Eric would not run on Sunday.  No matter, if it were the President of the Olympics or the Prince of Wales himself, Eric Liddle was faithful to his convictions.  Fortunately, one of his teammates pulled out of the 400 meter race.  Eric ran, won, and set a world record.  Eric’s running was an integral part of him and those in power sought to separate his running from who he was.

After those olympics Eric went to China and during WWII he was placed in a Chinese prison camp.  It was there he taught and played with the children and it was there, too, that Eric Liddle died, running the race of his life:  The race of faith in Christ.  AND OH, HOW HE FELT HIS PLEASURE.

When I watched Marshall’s Daddy run in high school and college and when I watch Marshall now, my prayerfor them and all our children and grandchildren is that they will run to “feel His pleasure”.  

August 30th, 2008 Posted by | commitment | one comment