By Jennifer Hallmark
Winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Chariots of Fire released the year after I graduated from high school (yes, I am that old). I couldn’t wait to see the movie. My future husband, Danny, and I bought tickets to a late night showing and he fell asleep before it ended. He was working long hours on the job and farm at the time and it really wasn’t his kind of movie. But it was all I thought it would be and more.
The story line: Two young British sprinters try out for the 1924 Olympics. Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams both run for the Cambridge University Athletics Club. Harold fights against prejudice because of his Jewish heritage and his own inner torment, believing any loss is a failure.
Eric, a Scottish missionary, runs to please God. Leading up to the Olympics, Eric is supposed to run the 100-meter race but refuses because the qualifying heat is scheduled on a Sunday. Harold, who has lost to Eric in the 100-meter race the year before, qualifies and wins in record time. Eric has a slot in the 400 meter given to him by a nobleman and wins his race in record time.
I’ve always loved true-life stories and this one is no different. As a young woman, readying myself to enter college and later marriage, the tenacity of Eric Liddell working through obstacle after obstacle on the way to his dream lodged in my heart.
It’s good that it remained there. When I started writing seriously in 2006, I would watch the movie over and over to remind me to persevere. Pursuing traditional publication is a slow process involving perfecting of the craft, building of an online presence or platform, and a constant flow of acceptance mingled with rejection. It truly seems to be “three steps forward, two steps back.”
Like Eric, God has strengthened me to meet each obstacle I’ve faced. With His help, I’ve either overcome the obstacle or realized maybe I wasn’t on the path God prepared for me to follow.
As I ready for another writing conference and wait to hear from a publisher regarding one of my novels, I believe I’ll watch the greatest movie of all time, Chariots of Fire, IMHO, one more time.
As part of the Writing Prompts Crew, I hope you’ve enjoyed our month of movies. Don’t miss next month as we tackle the topic of Modern Literature. What’s new in publishing, genre, and other writing-related topics? Find out here.
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