Film Friday: Chariots of Fire

There is a great moment when Liddell is about to run the 400m final. As they line up for the race, one of the American athletes hands him a piece of paper. Liddell unfolds it and reads the following. ‘It says in the old book, “He that honours me I will honour.” Good luck, Jackson Scholz.’ It’s a perfect reminder of something Liddell had said earlier to his sister. ‘When I run I feel God’s pleasure.’ Liddell honoured God with his gift, and God honoured him. There is an old saying, attributed to a guy called Irenaeus, ‘The glory of God is a human being fully alive.’ When Eric ran he was showing something of God’s glory, doing what he loved and what he was designed to do. My wife and older daughter love watching The Great Pottery Throwdown, where contestants work with clay each week. One of the judges Keith, loves what the contestants make, so much so that from time to time he cries, he is so moved by their work. John Mark Comer, in his book Garden City, describes the feeling he got when seeing a sunset, and sensing God’s glory. But then he got the same feeling when he looked at a beautifully made cabinet. It was if this piece of furniture had been made so well, that it spoke of God’s glory. I think that is why Keith is so moved by what others make. It may sound strange, but even if we cannot put it into words, the glory of God can still speak through someone doing something they love. Doing it with all their heart. Early in Chariots Eric’s father tells him that, ‘…you can praise the Lord by peeling a spud, if you peel it to perfection!’ I’m not sure you have to peel it to perfection, just as well as you can. Everything can give God glory. We can honour him in the washing up and cleaning of loos. In the ordinary and extraordinary. He’s a 24/7 God.

(Taken from the forthcoming book, Movies & Me)

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  1. Mark Roques says:

    Excellent post Dave. This relates to the key biblical theme of the creation or cultural mandate. Humans are caled by God to look after, unfold and manage creation. This affirms the gifts your blog affirms so well.

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