“The glory of God is the living person.” St. Irenaeus said. It has been ten years since I first took part in the Cleveland half marathon in 2005 as a Living Person. Many thought that one dare action would be enough or he wouldn’t be able to run again. But, I am still running, looking forward to the Tenth Living Person in October this year. What makes me run so long? I ask myself.
I find the answer from St. Paul the apostle and the runner.
1. “Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9,24-27).
I run not to be disqualified as I proclaim the Good News. Like every athlete, I exercise discpline in every way, so that I could be a better man to do God’s work. I run with an aim to be a bearer of the Good News.
2. “Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3,13-14).
I run to forget what lies behind but to strain forward to what lies ahead. To me, running is spirituality to be awake and to live fully.
3. “For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance” (2 Tim. 4,6-8).
It is the last words I would like to say when I die: “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” I do not know any better words than these because I am a runner.