Thursday, January 28, 2021

'Chariots of Fire' Rekindles Hope

"When I run I feel his pleasure." That one phrase alone from the 1981 movie, Chariots of Fire, challenged the foundation of my beliefs. I wasn't used to thinking that God would take pleasure in something that we love to do. 

Though I would have never said this out loud as a child, my beliefs about God went something like this: The only time God had pleasure was when he first created man and woman. Then they "fell" in the garden. We've had to work ever since then to please him. Of course, I always felt like I came up short. 

However, during the viewing of that movie a long time ago, a seed was planted. It was a small seed of hope, but over the years it has sprouted and grown. The seedling has had to fight with all kinds of elements to keep growing and push its way to the surface, breaking through some tough thinking. But over time, I began to believe that it IS possible for us to feel God's pleasure when we do what we love. 

I had forgotten about the movie until one day when I was playing the piano in the lobby at PennState Health, someone requested the theme song from Chariots of Fire and as soon as I began to play it, I remembered the little seed and was amazed how much my thoughts have changed since I first saw the movie years ago. 

There are definitely certain songs that get an immediate reaction from the listener. I can see it clearly from my spot on the piano bench and I could see a flicker of light in their eyes as I played the simple but evocative melody. It seemed as if hearing the melody was stirring something very special in their soul. I felt it too. I wondered if they had the same reaction to the movie as I did.

Playing the piano at this venue every week allows me the luxury of paying very close attention to people and how they respond to songs. Unlike most of my concerts, where I share my story by creatively weaving stories, music, humor and media together (which I also love), this is the one time I can just sit down at the piano and play. 

I've added that theme song into my repertoire when I play at the hospital. I love to watch the reaction of those who pass by. One day I was playing the song and someone came over to the piano, with watery eyes and a shaky voice, obviously struck with emotion. He couldn't thank me enough. He tried to express what this meant to him but he really didn't need to say much. I saw that same familiar flicker of hope in his eyes. 

I think we could all benefit from the reminder that we each come with a unique gift and personality. There are thousands of piano players, but only one Frances Drost and how I might play a song is very different than the next pianist and that's what makes us each unique. 

You're the only one of YOU the world will ever know. I believe God loves it when you find what it is you love to do. And when you do THAT, he smiles with pleasure and I believe he is pleased because we are doing exactly what he created us to do.