What Eric was certain about as he pondered his future was that he wanted to serve Christ with whatever gifts he had been given. But he had no idea how this athletic ability could be put to use for the kingdom of God. In his own eyes, he seemed to possess so few of the skills he thought necessary for Christian ministry. Not only was he not an orator, he dreaded the thought of speaking in public. Forty thousand shouting fans in a stadium didn’t bother him at all, but forty people sitting quietly in a church hall terrified him.
Then he accepts an invitation from Glasgow Students’ Evangelistic Union to speak to miners in Armadale. After two weeks of “Christian campaign” with no success, GSEU was hoping Eric Liddell’s celebrity might draw the miners.
Here’s Eric Liddell, after speaking to about eighty men on a Friday night about what Jesus meant to him, “quietly and simply”:
My whole life had been one of keeping out of public duties but the leading of Christ seemed now to be in the opposite direction, and I shrank from going forward. At this time I finally decided to put it all on Christ — after all if He called me to do it, then He would have to supply the necessary power.