Monday, December 30, 2013

C.T. Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer

A friend of mine dedicated his life to missions over ten years ago when he read this book.  After waiting patiently on the Lord, he and his family are now embarking on a life of missions.  They have sold everything and are but a few days from being deployed.   Watching them shed their earthly possessions has been extremely exciting and I know that God has great things in store for them.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and am stirred to do more as a result.  If a 22 year old C.T. was not special enough to stay in his father's hugely successful dye business or follow his rapid rise to the top of the cricket world by holding that top spot for many more years, then I can hardly declare I am special enough as a cog in my company, a good citizen of a great community, a member of a wonderful church, or even as a fantasy football owner that finished in the top half of a meager league to stay where I am and not go at the age of 48.

C.T. has many famous quotes, but one that drove him to missions for the third time at the age of 53 was at the tip of his tongue for him to reply to his many doctors, consultants, partners and friend that questioned his foolish decision:

  • If Jesus Christ be God, and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.

I have known a few athletes, missionaries, hikers and bikers but to put them all together in a single life that moves from England to Australia to China to India to America to Africa.  He started as a boy swinging a cricket bat evenly against a reflection of a carpet seam line.  A straight swing as a boy was unstoppable when placed in the frame of tall athlete with long arms and large wrists.  Simple straight talk was unstoppable when placed on the tongue of a man that preceded in prayer and dedication.

Here are some more quotes that jumped off the pages:
  • "Cursed is he that trusteth in man" does not make a very good pillow for a dying man. "Blessed is he that trusteth in the Lord."
  • Christ does not want nibblers of the possible but grabbers of the impossible.
  • Some wish to live within the sound
    Of Church or Chapel bell,
    I want to run a Rescue Shop
    Within a yard of hell.
  • All God wants is a heart; any old turnip will do for a head. So long as we are empty, all is well...
  • A lost reputation is the best degree for Christ's service.

As he and his wife founded and fostered organizations and methods for sharing the gospel with unreached places of the world, he also jotted down a few flow charts that helped to define a sustainable and repeatable process for teaching truth.  We all have time to do that, we just have to start.