Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Way Of The Cross

The month of January was not kind to my family. We spent almost every day at Hospitals or doctor offices. We dealt with meningitis, pneumonia, and migraines. We were afraid, exhausted, overwhelmed, and ill. Death smothered us for an intense 48 hour period. January is over, Thank God! Everyone in my family who was affected are on the way to full recoveries. February please be kind.

Reading quotes on social media as a loved one was unconscious and moved about restlessly in a coma on the intensive care unit, close to death, one stood out. "fight this disease, tell death to f___ off!" I have read a similar quote on a cancer website for a young boy.
My mind started working and I pondered these words a great deal.
When we think of defeating or overcoming issues in our world such as sickness, injustice, etc. We always think of offensive actions. We want to do something, anything, we want to be active, initiate, we want to fight, we want to be on the offensive, marching forward. We never want to stay still, to rest, to endure, to recover.

In other words we chose "the way of the world." We rarely chose  "the way of the cross."
The way of the cross goes against our being, but it seems to be the most efficient way to win. When your body is ravaged by meningitis you can`t fight, you have to let the antibiotics flush out the bacteria. Same with pneumonia, being active is counter productive and causes far more harm than good. Migraines are treated by lying down in a dark room, not by doing something.

Churched people always love the story of Jesus and his righteous anger. Jesus overturned tables, and drove out the moneychangers with a whip. We like this story, sometimes we use it to justify our episodes of anger. We can relate to a God like this. We struggle to relate to a God who allowed Himself to die on a cross. Which event created a greater ripple effect in history?

Mahatma Ghandi was largely responsible for India`s freedom of English rule by marching, hunger strikes, and imprisonment, his approach was nonviolent civil disobedience.

Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X both had the same goal: Black equality with whites. One approach was nonviolent civil disobedience based on Christian beliefs, one was militaristic, highly violent. My opinion is that MLK Jr`s approach has furthered black persons rights.

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years in South Africa for his views on apartheid. Nelson Mandela eventually became President of South Africa, apartheid has been abolished.

Ten years ago my heart was broken from the stories I heard about young Cambodian girls held against their will in rooms to be used as sex slaves. I saw pictures of some of these rooms, these rooms were made of concrete, bars were on the windows, there was only one door, one way into the room, one way out. I saw pictures of some of these girls.

One day I tried to put myself into these girls place. I tried to imagine the terror they must have felt when they heard the approaching footsteps, seeing the door handle turn, seeing an outline of a man who was there to terrorize, brutalize, and destroy.
One day I came up with a worldly solution. What if I take some of my really tough friends, what if appeal to all the good men we know, men who love women and young children as Jesus did. What if we offer my solution. Fly to Cambodia enter these rooms and put ourselves as guards to these children. Any men entering these rooms must go through us to harm the young girls. If we are defeated we will leave the room and the children are at the mercy of the victors, if we defeat these men they must leave Cambodia never to come back again.
This is a "way of the world" approach that for obvious reasons has not been attempted.
I than thought of another way of the world approach. I would run full marathons for these children. At the time running a marathon seemed kind of glamorous and sexy. I have since learned of some of my limits. I can run 21.1 km (half marathon) relatively easy. I have shovelled snow, cut the lawn, cleaned my eaves troughs the same day. I usually work the next day.
I can run a 30 km race with a little more difficulty, but generally I have found very few problems at this distance.
I have never had an easy 42.2 km (full marathon). After 30 km many things start to happen to my mind and body. I need at least a week to make a somewhat recovery, my body is usually off for at least a month.
The full marathon is my way of the cross, it is my way of bringing funding and awareness for the exploited people in Cambodia.
I am much closer to the end than the start of my marathon career, so this year I have decided to really test myself, and hopefully draw a little more attention to my cause. 

I am indeed training for the Buffalo Marathon. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Two years ago Neil Boron of WDCX radio walked the 100 miles or 160 kilometers from Buffalo to Mississauga and than took part in the Ratanak 5kmwalkathon. The week of May 20 to May 27 I will run from Mississauga to Buffalo.
May 29 I will run the Buffalo Marathon.
June 11 I will watch other participants running/walking at Erindale Park for the fifth annual 5kmwalkathon.
June 12 to September I will rest, heal, refresh and allow myself to be restored.



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