Amazing Grace is one of the most well-known, ageless songs around. I accidentally stumbled across the movie by same name and only recently got around to watching it. And, it was amazing (pardon the pun).
The movie is based on the life of antislavery pioneer William Wilberforce. He was elected to the House of Commons at the age of 21 (whoa!!) and over his successful political career lead the political campaign to end slave trade in the British Empire in the 18th century.
At the beginning of the movie, at the start of his successful political career, Wilberforce finds God.
William Wilberforce: It’s God. I have 10,000 engagements of state today but I would prefer to spend the day out here getting a wet arse, studying dandelions and marveling at… bloody spider’s webs.
Richard the Butler: You found God, sir?
William Wilberforce: I think He found me. You have any idea how inconvenient that is? How idiotic it will sound? I have a political career glittering ahead of me, and in my heart I want spider’s webs.
He then struggles with whether he should pursue politics or religion. His friend, William Pitt (who became the youngest prime minister ever at the age of 24!!) set up a dinner and invited some high profile anti-slavery spokespeople to speak to Wilberforce.
They end up telling him…
“We understand you’re having problems choosing whether to do the work of God or the work of a political activist…We humbly suggest that you can do both.”
I want to print and frame that quote. I’ve been struggling with how my goals/dreams/ambition line up with Gods, and this was like an affirmation from above…you can do both.
I was so inspired by Wilberforce’s story. I had never heard of him before seeing this movie, but I’ve done quite a bit of reading on him since then and my respect keeps growing for him. He fought for what he believed and he let his Christian values guide where he stood on political issues. He never hid his faith and instead used that to identify himself rather than seeking earthly recognition. It took him over 20 years to abolish the slave trade but he pressed on and fought over and over again for freedom for people who at the time didn’t have a voice.
If you get the chance, watch this movie. It will change your thoughts on many subjects or at least educate you on a new topic! 🙂 And make you stand in awe every time you hear the song Amazing Grace. Here’s the trailer.
“Do you intend to use your beautiful voice to praise the Lord… or change the world?”