One sport gaining popularity in the Philippines is Running. Many are becoming running enthusiast – ordinary people, celebrities, politicians, professionals and more. Many running events are also being organized by different organizations. Some run for fun, others for a cause.
One veteran distance runner that impressed me is Cesar Guarin. At 56 years old he wants to make a Global Run as his way of honoring and thanking Overseas Filipino Workers and migrants. In the Philippines he is considered as the “Father of Ultramarathon.” He is now in Europe on Stage 6 of his goal which began in 1983 and ends in 2016. If he completes this feat, he would have run a total of 30,232 km in 548 days.
The bottom line of running is really for healthy living. In our life of faith, we also need to exercise our spiritual muscles. It makes us strong and sturdy. Many instances, God challenges us to stretch our faith. I would like to share two stories that show a test of faith.
Last May, I rushed to the hospital for a sick call. The mother of a former student was in ICU. She suffered a heart attack. It was sudden and unexpected. She was lying in bed helpless. Her breathing was aided by a respirator. Her children were in tears and they kept praying for her recovery. As I gave her the anointing, I encourage them to trust that God knows best; that the best attitude is “thy will be done.” I was about to go when the family of the patient on the next cubicle asked me to also anoint their brother. The guy also suffered a heart attack and was in coma. They feared for his life.
The day after, I was told that the mother of my former student passed away. The family was deeply saddened but faith was keeping them strong. Three days later, the coma patient woke up. The family was thankful. I told myself: sometimes God plays favorites. Others he claims back home; others he gives life-extension. Let’s leave the purpose in God omniscient wisdom.
On reading the Gospel of Mk 5:21-43 Jesus showed power. One message we can learn is this: when we are tested beyond our strength, when things seem impossible, have faith. God can do miracles. And in our greatest fear, Jesus tells us “do not be afraid.” Fear can be paralyzing. Faith, instead, empowers us to trust in a power stronger and greater than ourselves.