Joy of Giving, Praying & Serving (by Fernando Gomez)

In his 2016 world youth day conference, Pope Francis reminded a crowd of over three million attendees that: “We must always be in preparation to receive God’s call” and that when he calls, he pays no attention to our limitations but rather reassures us that we are on a constant mission to make the world a better place and be a living witness to the Gospel.

This last sentence makes me think about how when we’ve allowed our self-imposed limitations from answering God’s call and as you’re reading this, I ask that you take a minute to think about it too and also reflect on how to overcome them.

There’s no denying that this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo were unlike any in memory – with complications that we hope will never be repeated. This current pandemic forced a one year delay and officials found themselves agreeing to hold all the events we’ve grown to love and admire to be held in empty buildings and with a limited capacity to support these great athletes with superb stories of strength, discipline, determination and yes, Faith.

Through a wide variety of disciplines and sports, the USA team brought home 113 medals by individuals who face their limitations just like all of us but found the inspiration to keep on their journey to model after the best of athletic ability and in cases, like the one from Ms. Sydney McLaughlin, a living testament of gratitude, stewardship and in a constant living relationship with Jesus Christ.
At 21 years of age, Sydney has set a new world record of completing the 400 meter hurdle race at an astounding 51.46 seconds, that’s four times the length of a soccer field.

Shortly after she was awarded her gold medal, Sydney posted this on her Instagram Feed:

“I no longer run for self recognition, but to reflect HIS perfect will that is already set in stone and through the gifts HE has given me to point all the attention back to HIM. I don’t deserve anything. But by grace, through faith, Jesus. Records come and go. The Glory of God is eternal. What I have in Christ is far greater than what I have or don’t have in life.”

Although the day to day struggles may try to trick us to believe that we are not ONE in Christ and that our limitations set us apart from each other and from His grace and mercy, let us be reminded that Christ has nobody now but you and me to spread His good news of salvation, love, acceptance, mercy without hesitation or limitation – to do great and awesome acts of kindness with ourselves and our neighbors everyday.

Pay attention to His call and let it inflame your joy of Giving, Praying & Serving as this is the only way we can together advance our mission of discipleship evangelism.

– Fernando Gomez