Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I'm training for a marathon!

I have extremely exciting news! I have decided to run a marathon... and training begins today
I have very little experience with running, let alone running something like a marathon. 
Nevertheless, it is one of my newest, and very important goals. I know it will be one of the most difficult things I've ever tried to accomplish, but it will be one of the best things for me... Training for a marathon begins months, sometimes even years beforehand. It takes perseverance, discipline, focus, dedication, and courage. I am ready for the challenge.

I am always inspired by those I know who have ran marathons. Some of my role models I look up to the most have ran marathons. 
Such as, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles, Mother Teresa, St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Francis de Sales, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and all the saints. Even Christ Himself.

We are all called to run our own unique marathons set before us by God. 
Our marathon is not only the life God has given us to live according to His Holy Will, but also our chosen vocation. 

Whether our vocation in life is marriage, religious or consecrated life, our training for our "marathon" begins today
Training for our marathon doesn't begin the day the race starts. It starts now
St. Josemaria explains this in his writings in "The Way". 
"You tell me: when the chance comes to do something big, then!... Then? Are you seriously trying to convince me — and to convince yourself — that you will be able to win in the supernatural Olympics without daily preparation, without training?"

Every day, we should ask ourselves how our supernatural training for our big race is progressing. To think we can finish our race and keep the faith without daily training is simply foolish. 

Our marathon of life is one that takes continuous training and perseverance in everything God puts before us during our journey. 
"And let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us." - Hebrews 12:1
Sometimes the mere thought of this can be overwhelming, and we can easily become discouraged. However, by feeling that way we forget that finishing our race successfully doesn't rely on our own strength, but the power and grace of God. We are weak and fall countless times while training and running our race.  Too easily do we forget our strength and progress comes from God alone and that cooperating with His grace is vital. We can only finish our race with the reward of eternal life if we give ourselves completely to God, believe in Him more than ourselves, and trust in Him rather than relying on our own weakness. 
“Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.” 
-Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
There will be times when we are running our race and our faith and endurance will be put to the test. Temptations will challenge us throughout each day we run our marathon. Yet Our Lord, Blessed Mother, our guardian angel, and the saints are all by our side, ready to help us train and continue forward. 
Who could ask for a greater support system while running one's race? 
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor..." 
A smooth sea never made a saint either.
"To begin is for everyone, to persevere is for saints..." 
- St. Josemaria Escriva
A sailor lacks experience and the necessary skills essential to becoming a master of the sea if he never has his limits tested, never struggles or faces challenges amidst the dangers of the sea. Only through the lessons learned through rough and difficult times at sea does a sailor become well skilled. He does not obtain expert skills of the sea by only training on land, or having experienced only calm seas. 

The same is true for ourselves. Our marathon will be full of challenges and "rough seas". There will be days where it is difficult to stay afloat. It is important to remember that the difficult times God allows us to experience are to help us grow closer to Himself, sanctify us, and to grow in the "skills" needed to reach sainthood and heaven. 
After we choose to begin our marathon training and run our race, we have another choice to make, a choice that must be made every day. 

Will we choose to persevere on our path toward sainthood and Our Lord? Or will we choose to give in to sin and our own weakness? 

As I continue training and running my marathon, I hope you will begin yours, and not only begin, but persevere in God's grace. 
Con amore in Cristo,

(Photo by Chloe Marie Photography)

No comments:

Post a Comment