In the past few weeks, I’ve already clocked 5km, 10km and 15km in the build-up to my second full marathon. I’m supposed to clock 20km next Monday but there’s a part of me (read: knees) that feels it isn’t really a good idea and that I ought to just stop at the 15km mark. Although it’s been physically demanding, I’ve enjoyed getting myself into shape and just sweating it out.
When I was younger (and a lot fitter), I used to speak in tongues, worship and pray during my runs (and I must say I went at a much faster pace!). But these days, I have to focus all the remnants of energy on catching my breath! I do look forward to communicating with God this way again once my physical stamina improves. For those of you live in the Ghim Moh/Holland Road vicinity, you can consider embarking on these running routes which I have created.
5.3km – 31m 37s.
10.4km – 57m 59s.
15.1km – 1h 36m 20s.
Scheduled for 15 Nov.
Scheduled for 22 Nov.
Now, no one in the right frame of mind and wrong frame of fitness will sign up for a marathon; I have no idea what possessed me when I registered for it this year. So, in my attempt at self-consolation, here are ten reasons why I’ve bordered on insanity, again.
Before the marathon
1. Forces me to exercise regularly so that I don’t collapse during the marathon; this should make me more disciplined and of course, fitter!
2. Bonding together with fellow runners who’ve also signed up for the marathon; this hasn’t happened yet, but I’m pretty sure it will.
3. Makes me watch my dietary habits; I’ve eaten too much (rubbish) and it has really perpetuated ill-health.
During the marathon
4. I can’t wait to design a runner’s tag that will bring glory to Jesus!
5. I can’t wait to run with this tag that will bring glory to Jesus!
6. I can’t wait to encourage others who are also running to bring glory to Jesus!
7. I really enjoy the camaraderie in running in cadence and to motivate and be motivated by fellow runners.
After the marathon
8. Bragging rights! I’m going to wear the finisher shirt with so much pride; I think it’ll be an achievement to have run two marathons!
9. Storing stories for my grandchildren – “Do you know Gong-Gong ran two marathons before?” – and watch their completely unconvinced facial expression as they try to reconcile it with the sight of my big belly.
10. Motivation (and madness) to sign up (again) for the 2012 marathon at a discounted price!
Well, regardless of whether you’ve signed up or not, I’d be delighted to have you join me for a run whenever our schedules are able to coincide. Holler then!
Recently I had an opportunity to catch up with an old friend and he shared with me how he rejoiced with his wife when his son finally uttered, “Mama”. I rejoiced with him for it was a breakthrough for their family and when he shared it with me, he communicated a gratitude to God that nothing in the world could manufacture.
I juxtaposed it with parents who constantly berate their child for not doing better than their cousins, classmates, neighbours and whoever they could conveniently use to destroy their kid’s self-confidence and beliefs system. I remember telling HY that we’ve gotten it all wrong and have become complacent for the things that we ought to be thankful for. The more I hear it, the more I find “better than” a repulsive phrase.
That one-worded “Mama” was a gift from God to his child; as he shared his delight with me, I couldn’t help but to thank God for giving us speech – and I told HY that all these seemingly basic functions are truly gifts from God. I told her that in the future when we do have children of our own, we should be thankful for everything that the child has – speech, sight, hearing, limb movement, cognition, health and even something as taken-for-granted as daily breath! And not wish that our child is a pianist prodigy, artistic phenom, mathematics maestro or a kid with elephant memory (or not). Unfortunately, we have been conditioned to think that that’s being gifted, but we have forgotten that everyone is gifted – your ability to inhale and exhale is the gift of life from the Giver of life. Let’s not fight the wrong battles.
It wrenches my heart when I find out how my youths struggle with their (“inadequate”) academic achievements, because most times they’ve gotten it all wrong – they seek the result instead of the process; they seek a resume instead of academic returns; they seek worldly covetousness (wanting to be better than someone else) instead of godly contentment (wanting to be the best that God has designed them to be). I believe that our mentality is messed up because of the way we have been brought up (and this is no fault of ours). However, we should be careful not to pay it forward to the next generation.
At the end of the day, these pursuits amount to nothing all that significant. I so wished that I could hold their faces in my hands, look at them in the eye and tell them, “Come on, do you REALLY think that a C grade or a ‘regular’ CV could stop God from fulfilling His purpose in your life?” Oh, we of little faith; we ought to be dismissed for thinking that our destiny is determined by our downfalls. When will we finally learn that the sovereignty of God far exceeds earthly meritocracy?
Let us all take a step back to recalibrate our compasses, unless of course you have already decided to raise your child in the exact same manner that you have been raised. Let us remember that life in itself is the greatest gift and that we ought to be thankful for it. Let us not go overboard in seeking additional gifts instead of the Giver Himself. Don’t get caught in the world’s definition of “gifted”!
I am sorry. December looks insane and so if it’d be a remarkable achievement if I could update regularly.
In the meantime, I’d covet your prayers in the following 7 items:
1. Wisdom – you can never ask for enough of it.
2. Strength – for the impending lack of rest.
3. Time-management – prioritising is doing first things first.
4. Efficiency – especially in areas which I am weak at.
5. Help – you can answer this prayer by approaching me.
6. Health – a) seeing a specialist in Jan for my lipoma/neurofibroma; b) no ulcers; c) no pimples – haha.
7. Sensitivity – to God’s voice, prompting and direction.