I had an awesome run this morning. God woke me up around 5:30am and prompted me to run. Yesterday, while having my downtime in Eastwood City after work, a guy friend sent me a text invitation for a run in Aguinaldo oval butI politely declined. The venue was conducive to running but going there was the 'problem' because that would mean taking a taxi ride. Besides, I was sleepy and.. I was really, really, really sleepy. Also, during that same hour, while I was exchanging messages with another guy, I got so annoyed and declared war. God says, however, "In your anger, do not sin" (Psalm 4:4) so, after having my cold helping of Chowking's halo-halo, I prayed, headed for home and dozed off. Sometime during my 'uninterrupted' sleep, I awoke and declared ceasefire but I was too sleepy to get up for dinner. I slept straight up until this morning. Thank God, He gave me another new day.
So, back to my run. I haven't ran since I sprained my ankle in Singapore last September 2009. Thankfully, I didn't have a problem with my ankle this morning. I headed for the Rainforest Park in Pasig, with the goal of releasing toxins and increasing my adrenaline and boy, oh boy, I never expected my run to be that fulfilling.
Knowing that I've been 'stagnant' for a while, I didn't want to 'surprise' my body so I started with the basics (my basics, at least): the walk-run-walk. I recall the days when I was just starting out in running, it was just a run-walk kind of thing. I start running in medium speed, slow the pace down, walk, then start picking up the pace to run again, until such time that the walk intervals got lesser and I could run for one straight hour without walking. I even had the chance, in 2007, to finish my first 21K (hopefully not my last). The important thing for me is, I'm a finisher. That's all that matters. Yeah!
In his book 'The Principles of Running' Amby Burfoot shares "It's only the stopwatch that labels you a tortoise. But don't let it get you down. Run with tortoise pride. And remember: In the longest run of all, your life, you're going to be a winner." It's interesting to note what the first page has: "Our purpose: We inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them." I thought, God really loves Amby Burfoot. He gave him a name that clearly speaks of God's purpose for him.
I know and believe that God has placed me on earth for one purpose - His. It was through a mountaineering course in 2006 that I 'discovered' the joy of running so even when I didn't 'graduate' from the course, I continued to run. In 'major' running events, I usually join the 10K because I'm more for endurance, not speed. 5K is more for speed and it's not medically sound for me, given my heart condition. I've been praying that my next 2D Echo Doppler test will show negative for Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) which I've had since birth but was not 'discovered' until the year 2000. Now, that will require another blog entry. For now, I'm blogging about my running purpose.
The title of this post may have given you the impression that I've, so to speak, "fallen in love all over again." Haha, forgive me; I wrote that to catch your attention on purpose. I've never been in love like I am today - even romantically. For my friends who are close to me, they know exactly Who I'm passionately in love with.
For the clueless, well, this guy's name is Jesus Christ whom I fondly refer to as JC. JC's not just any other guy. Those who dare to compete with Him for First Place in my heart are in for big trouble. But, JC and I are in an Open Relationship and anyone's pretty much welcome to join in the fun that we have together. We love each other sooo much and as I get to know more about Him each day, the more I fall in love with Him. He loves me sooo much, He died for me and rose again on the third day so He can forever watch over me, be with me and pray for me all the time. I'm actually embarrassed sometimes when I fail to acknowledge that I'm walking with Him. But He is always forgiving, He gives me His grace to forgive others when I falter in the area of forgiveness and graciousness. When we ran together this morning, He showed me new things about my hometown and about myself that I never knew about. And, wow, I can just say, I am sooo blessed.
I've ran in Rainforest Park in the past for many times but it was only today that I got to discover many other parts of the park. JC took me to the mini zoo where I first saw ducks who stood at one leg and hid their beaks in their wings. I thought they were figurines. It was a whole lot of fun looking at all six of them lined up and standing in the same position.
I also marveled at the Philippine deer. As I looked into the deer's eyes, I sensed his longing for someone. I went around the cage with him (him inside, me outside) and he led me to the locked gate. It was as if he was telling me to let him out. I made a sound telling him he'll have his partner soon.
JC also showed me this little chimp with a leash, hanging on a tree. When the little fellow saw me, he jumped as if wanting me to carry him. But he couldn't reach me. He went to the nearby cage and played instead with the white horse who resided there.
Then there's the Burmese Python. It was huge. As I read about the information on its glass enclosure, I sought for the source of its water. The info said that such creature required a constant source of water. Well, it had a source of water, alright, but I knew it was nothing compared to what it actually needed. I pitied the snake but was reminded to be cautious as well.
I saw crocodiles, monkeys, raccoons (well, I think they're raccoons), ostriches, a peacock, carabaos, an owl, birds and more birds… and towards the end of my little "tour," JC led me to view the butterflies. It was a sight to behold.
"I'm coming back to the heart of worship, and it's all about You, all about You, Jesus. I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made up, when it's all about You, all about You, Jesus..." As the MP3 track played in my ears, I couldn't contain the awe as I walked in the midst of the butterflies. As my eyes traced the vines hanging from the top of the enclosure where some butterflies clinged to, I remembered the scene in the movie "Avatar" where the characters 'connected' with the Supreme Being through those crystal-like vines.
"Who will go for us; Who will shout to the corners of the earth, that Christ is King?" went the next track, reminding me of my purpose, the very mission that God has put me on earth for. I was on the verge of tears but the Holy Spirit led me to control such tears and be joyful, be thankful, and glorify the name of my God Who knows all things and searches all things.
"We speak to nations, be open; We speak to nations, fall on your knees, We speak to nations, the Kingdom is coming near to you.. We speak to strongholds, be broken! Powers of darkness, you have to flee.. We speak to nations, the Kingdom is coming near to you, we speak to you, Be free!"
Am I in love? Very much.. over and over and over again.. with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, JESUS CHRIST, who has TAKEN me hook, line and sinker. Any male homo sapien who would “dare” me to fall in love with him instead would have to be madly in love with Jesus Christ first. You might ask, "What does this have to do with running?" Well, pretty much everything.
Amby Burfoot said, "In the longest run of all, your life, you're going to be a winner." Well, our lives here on earth, realistically speaking, will always be a struggle. There are times when it would seem, by the world's standards, that we're so slow; that we're losers. For a follower of Jesus, however, there is something much, much more beyond this life. And it is there where we will see who the real winners are. With the Holy Spirit's help, that is the Finish Line I'm running towards and I hope to see you There.
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus...Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (Philippians 3:14 ; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27)