Call this the result of the intersection of my faith and my love of movies. A Lenten reflection for today. Part of a series of reflections being done by the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Midlothian, VA.
“I believe God made me for a purpose. But he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure”.
If you’re a movie fan you may recognize that line from “Chariots of Fire”. It’s spoken by Eric Liddell, the Scottish runner whose story shares center stage in the movie. Today is the day in our calendar of remembrances when we remember him.
The Liddell character (and the historical figure) fascinates me. Eric finds himself caught between just doing what is expected of him (following his family to China to work as evangelists) or realizing all gifts that God had given him and running in the 1924 Olympics. In the end, he makes, in my opinion, the correct decision. In the 400 meters, he would set a new record that summer, then join his family in China and work there for almost twenty years. Eric Liddell would die of a brain tumor while in a prison camp during World War II.
What attracts me to this story is the understanding that we are more than one thing. That God has given us more than a single calling or gift. They may have nothing at all to do with one another, but they are part of the richness that God granted each of us. How often do we leave some portion of that richness unexplored because it doesn’t match our or others vision of who we are “supposed to be”? How much of God’s pleasure do we not receive because we chose the safe path?
Eric Liddell’s story reminds us that God’s gifts are bounteous; that his joy in us flows readily whenever we are prepared to live into those gifts.
God made you for a purpose. Find it and feel his pleasure.