I discovered this story. It reminded me a lot of you. Thought I would pass it on.
Fauja Singh is an endurance runner. He has decided to retire from the sport that he so richly loves. He has broken several records. He is 101 years old. Is that not amazing? He was born on April 1, 1911 in a farming village in India. He has no birth certificate. At that time, birth certificates were not created in that part of the world. He did not begin to walk until the age of 5. His family was worried that he might never walk. As the years passed, he met a lovely lady named Gian. They married and had 6 children (3 boys and 3 girls). By the 1960s, most of his children married and left their home. One son stayed and helped him on the farm. In 1992, his wife passed. He was 81 years old. Now, approaching the end of his life, he was content spending time with his son on the farm. Then, tragedy struck in 1994. During a severe storm, his son was killed while trying to tend to the farm. He began to question GOD. He asked why his son was gone. He wondered why he was not taken instead. His friends contacted his family over concerns about him. His children decided that he needed to be close to them. He sold everything and moved to England. At first, the new setting was no different. He was too old to have a job. He did not have any specific skills. He felt no purpose to his life.
To every thing there is a reason, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Looking to get out of the house, he began to run with the community. He needed a distraction. When running, he realized that he thought about his next step. After so many steps, his mind would go blank. He felt connected to GOD. All the anger and grief would leave. While he lived in India, he never owned a television. While living in England, he became obsessed with television. One day, he saw a gathering of people running along a road. He became curious. That is when he discovered endurance running. He decided that if the people on television could do it, then he could too. He ran in his first marathon in 2000. He was 89 years old. It took him 6 hours and 54 minutes. The following year, he entered into another marathon. He wanted to best his last time. Now, he was beginning to receive attention for his actions. Media outlets were requesting interviews. He was asked to attend weddings and school events. Adidas contacted him concerning a feature advertisement. He donated all the proceeds to charity. He loved the attention. He enjoyed shaking hands and hugging people. He hardly turned down requests for interviews or appearances.
With men this is impossible; but with GOD all things are possible.
In 2003, he decided that he wanted to enter the New York City Marathon. The United States of America was still feeling the effects of September 11, 2001. He knew that it would be difficult. He arrived in New York with a desire to run a good race. By this time, however, he was entering his third marathon in less than a year. The miles had taken their toll on him. He showed up for the race with the flu, jet lag, and a hurt ankle. During the race, blisters began to form. His socks became bloody. After 7 hours and 34 minutes, he would cross the finish line. He wanted to be an example of strength and kindness to Americans. Instead, they looked at him as a symbol of weakness. They seemed to have pity for him. Not respect. He made a vow. He decided to quit. His friends and family would not let him quit so easily. They convinced him to let his body heal. They were afraid to let him quit. He used running to help himself out of depression. They were unsure of what he would do without it.
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
His last race took place today. He admits that it is difficult to accept. He will not stop running. He is no longer competing. He said that the day that he stops running is the day that he will die. He began running as a distraction. Now, it is a path to GOD.
The disciples came to Jesus with questions concerning the future. Jesus said to his disciples “but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
This is a remarkable story. Just wanted to pass it on.