In the movie, “Chariots of Fire,” Olympic runner Eric Liddell states, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” The story, as I understand it, was that Liddell’s sister was concerned that running in the Olympic games would distract Eric from his faith. His statement is meant to reassure her that his running is actually a part of his faith journey. Strange, right? Running as an exercise of faith? Then again, maybe it’s not so strange after all.
I firmly believe that I was designed. I didn’t just happen. My talents and personalities were placed in my being intentionally by a God who takes a personal interest in my growth and development as well as how I use the talents and abilities he’s given me. Psalm 139:13-14 says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
I have been knit together. I don’t knit but I have tried my hand at crochet and I absolutely LOVE to cross-stitch. I know from personal experience that such handicrafts take a very personal, intimate touch. The use of that mental image – of a hands-on involvement in the design – is powerful for me. Part of the knitting that put me together included a passion for the performing arts, specifically music and theater. I began playing piano at 4 1/2 years of age. It’s so much a part of who I am that I cannot imagine ever giving it up. I began singing at a young age as well. And I feel completely at home in the theater whether it’s on the stage, sitting in the pit, or acting as director. I especially enjoy having the chance to work with young people from middle school through college.
And I ABSOLUTELY get Liddell’s statement. God didn’t make me fast but he did make me musical. The last few weeks have been crazy busy as I’ve been playing in the pit for A Chorus Line at the local Community College as well as teaching part-time at the college and working at the High School part time. That has occasionally meant 15 hour days. And I’ve been completely energized by the experience. I serve as the accompanist for the choral department at the local high school and serve as the Assistant Director for the Spring musical (which starts rehearsal next week!) and as busy as I’ve been, I would not have it any other way. As I sat playing in the pit tonight, I was struck with the thought that I was more content than I ever remember being!
If I can be so bold, my version of Liddell’s statment would be “God made me a performer and when I’m singing/playing/on-stage I feel his pleasure.” That’s the only reason for the overwhelming joy I’ve been experiencing for the last couple of weeks. Most of my life revolves around playing the piano – my very first musical love – or working to help get shows on-stage with young people from the area. And through it all, I definitely feel the pleasure of the one who blessed me with a talent that I certainly don’t deserve. Acting on the passion he instilled in me leaves me content, fulfilled, and looking forward to the next opportunity I will have to do it all again!