I’ve never been a very athletic person. In fact, I used to joke that I’m the poster child for the government ad “stay fit, ‘cause you never know.” I had a special aversion to running, and I thought that would never change. That is, until a few weeks ago. In the rare times that I normally go running, I was usually accompanied by my sister, who provides pace and motivation. Having decided on a whim to run on my own for the first time, I was inspired to pray “Lord, please show me what I can do in You.” A few minutes into my run, I began to feel the familiar discomfort that would usually cause me to stop. Instead of stopping, I breathed into the pain and kept going. After several minutes of wondering when I would need to stop, something amazing happened: I actually began to enjoy running. God answered my prayer: I did something I never thought I would, and I actually liked doing it. I experienced an intense feeling of euphoria as what was once an obstacle-laden chore became a source of joy, excitement, and empowerment. The very fact of the challenge was what made this little victory mean so much. Days after that first run, I’m still trying to get myself into a running routine. I’ve been trying to focus on tracking my progress in a way that it measurable and motivating. Simultaneously, I learned that God wants to transform our greatest weaknesses, and to use our weaknesses to transform us. I began to reflect on both spiritual and temporal areas of my life where I was lazy, afraid or too comfortable. The lesson I learned from my first real run helped me to trust in God more in practical ways, while being patient in the moments where I failed.
Everyone has things in their life (again, spiritual and temporal) that God is asking us to improve. Every moment, God waits for us to ask for His help, so He can concretely show us what we can do in Him. Sometimes the road to my vocation seems too lonely and exhausting to venture. However, the more I fearfully pulled away from the will of God, the lonelier and more isolated I felt. I’m told that the irony of running is that the more often you run the more energy you’ll have. The same applies to obedience to God: the more you are willing to sacrifice, the happier you will be. Committing to any act of charity will undoubtedly require sacrifice. However, I am certain that it will be worth it if at the end of our lives, when we say with Saint Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy4:7-8)
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