Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…  
Hebrews 12:1
The author and his mother, "Margo" Krusen

My mother was famous for her New Year’s resolutions. She was likewise well-known for not keeping them.
“This year will be different!” she liked to say as New Year’s Day approached. And she did keep her resolutions for a while—a few days, or weeks, even. Then they kind of disappeared underwater. My siblings and I followed suit, in this regard at least. We all meant well, of course, but you know how the story goes…

From the opening scene of Chariots of Fire

In December 1981, back in New York after three months in Europe, I stumbled into a movie theatre in New York City and watched Chariots of Fire. The movie “moved” me profoundly with its splendid cinematography, acting, script and direction. As someone who had recently embraced Christianity, I was particularly touched by the faith and tenacity of spirit displayed by one of the main characters of the film, Eric Liddell, also known as the Flying Scotsman.

Eric was a great cricketer and rugby player, but he was best known as a sprinter. A devout Christian, I kind of doubt he made New Year’s resolutions (maybe he did), but if anyone ever stood a chance of keeping them, I’d put my money on Eric.
As the 1924 Olympics approached, Eric was the odds-on favorite to take gold in the 100 metres. Because he refused to run on a Sunday, however, he missed out on his chance to compete. As a consolation prize of sorts, he was offered the opportunity to compete in the 400 metres. He wasn’t given much of a chance to win, however. Indeed, he was assigned the outside lane, which made him even more of an underdog.
When asked by the press what his strategy for the race would be, Eric replied, “I’ll run the first 200 metres as hard as I can. Then, for the second 200 metres, with God’s help, I’ll run harder.” And that’s just what he did, finishing nearly a second ahead of his nearest competitor and setting a new world’s record.

Eric Liddell winning 400 metres at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France

Competing (and winning) in the Olympics, however, was not Eric’s primary goal in life. As the movie made clear, he came from a missionary family, having been born on the mission field in China in 1901. And to China he would return for missionary service—just a year after the Olympics ended and he had been vaulted into international superstardom. Hard to imagine anything remotely comparable happening among athletes today. 
When I was little—believe it or not—I could run very fast. None of my friends could catch me. That was for a season, I guess. Years ago, to put it in spiritual terms, I shifted from being a sprinter to running marathons; and I call these verses to mind when the going gets tough and the rickety knees threaten to give way: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to what lies ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13,14).

Cris Krusen as Ben Whitmore nearing the end of his long race.
From the upcoming feature film Let Me Have My Son.

If Mom were still alive, I’m sure I’d be hearing her say, “Kippy, have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet?” My answer? “Mom, I made my resolutions forty years ago when I accepted Christ into my life.” I then might add, very gently and with deep respect, “I haven’t always been able to keep them, Mom, but I don’t abandon them. I renew them each year because they are the only resolutions I believe worth making.”
(An interesting aside. My mother covered the legal costs of incorporating Messenger Films as a 501(c)(3) in 1988. We received notification of our tax-exempt status that same year on her birthday, October 21st.) 
Dear friends, I pray this will be a banner year for each of you. May the Almighty bring you encouragement, strength, and good cheer as you run your race and finish the course.
God speed,

We are only a few weeks away from completing our first rough cut of Let Me Have My Son. Have you seen our teaser trailer? This and more films to come in the years ahead as the Lord wills. Let us run in such a way as to gain the prize! (1 Corinthians 9:24)
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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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