Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chariots of Fire: A classic film that I finally saw for the first time

Yesterday I saw the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire for the first time in my life. The movie is a true story based on the lives of two men who competed in the 1924 Olympics representing Great Britain. Chariots of Fire won four Academy Awards including Best Picture. The title of the movie was inspired by a William Blake poem titled Jerusalem, which was inspired by the Holy Bible.

When Chariots of Fire first came out in 1981, I was only seven years old. Although I never had the opportunity to see the film, the movie's titled song (by the same name) always moved me. I remember watching commercials about the movie and being mesmerized by the titled song. As a child I did not know what the film was about; I had an idea but I was not sure. I simply remember hearing the soft, melodic, instrumental music and seeing men run on the beach whenever I saw the movie being promoted on television. Yet, without having any knowledge of the film, I was already touched by it and this would stay with me forever. So here I am, 30 years later watching the film for the very first time. In a way, I am glad that I waited; I am able to appreciate it more at this moment in my life than I probably would have at any other time.

The movie addresses prejudice and faith. Simply put, movies like this are not made any more. Nowadays, everyone is too afraid to speak about the truth or too worried about offending an "unbeliever" rather than praising God or addressing important matters. Chariots of Fire portrays one man's desire to succeed and need to prove himself to others while another man runs to honor God. I thought the movie was great and I would recommend it to anyone. Not many people in my generation even know about it and I find that so odd. It's a must see film.

To finish off, I would like to share a quote from the movie delivered by Eric Liddell:

"You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race."

And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see."
Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and
chariots of fire all around Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:17)

by: Xela

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