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       I love running. Itís been my favorite sports for years. Iíve even joined a number of marathons, not really aiming to finish first , but just have a good time and the satisfaction of knowing that Iím fit enough to finish the race. The first time that I enlisted for such an event., I started thinking about what I would wear on the big day. I thought of the new shorts and shirt that I would buy. I thought of getting my self a nice carry- around water container. I thought wrist bands and other flashy accessories. But most of all, I thought about my running shoes. Everyone there would be sporting the most expensive brand, I was sure. I wasnít about to be upstage. I would buy the best there was, too. Anyway, I had the money. And besides, I deserved new ones, didnít I ? I thought a long while about those shoes. See? Men can be vain too.
       ďI need this, I need that. I want more of this, I want more of that.Ē Thatís what weíre all being taught to focus on. Whoís teaching us to think this? The world, or the principles , cultures , and thought patterns hostile to the Gospel of Jesus. The world is bent on making selfish people out of us. It tells you that when you get that you want, you have it made. Youíre secure for life. It doesnít matter if you really need it or not. What matters is that youíve got it. What youíve got says a lot about your status in life. The more expensive the clothes you have on, the perfume you wear, the shoes you wear, the more electronic gadgets youíve got strapped no like beepers, cell phones, radios, the richer you must be. If you donít have any of theses things, then youíre a loser. Youíve nothing to live for. Thatís what the world wants you to believe Acquire more , and youíve hit the jackpot. This lulls you into a false sense of security. Stripped of all paraphernalia, you lose that security. No wonder then that the Bible says that ď the pursuits of riches is vain.Ē
       But hone can I tell if Iím in vain or not? Good question. And one thatís not too easy to answer. Because I donít believe I can give you a black and white guideline as to whatís vain or not . For example , to a middle class family who live somewhere in Cubao, owning three cars seem vain. But to a family living in Ayala Alabang , It may seem a necessity since one car is with the father, the other is used by the kids,and the third remains at home for momís use. Or how about radios, cellular phones, and beepers? A busy executive whoís always on the go may not enjoy having this these gadgets strapped on to him because it means he can be contacted by his office even when heís in the bathroom. But a Makati twenty-something who only wants theses things for show may already be dabbling with vanity. Car acessories? Why have all those fancy lights and stripes? Expensive colognes? As long as you donít smell bad, what for ? Doc Martens? If you sincerely wear them because you want a pair of shoes that will last for years, why not? But if you have t o a rob a bank to buy a pair Öre-think the scheme. Golf lessons. Why? Just because itís the leatest ďinĒ sport? Thereís really only one question you need to ask: Do I need it ? And if I donít, why do I want to have it? A word of caution: You might be tempted to create the need for for something you really only just want. Let your conscience be your guide .
        Everyone fails sometimes in life. Everyone goes through experience of weakness and inadeguacy. These are painful moments of discouragement and frustration, of fears and anxiety. When all my dreams and ideals are crushed , broken and forgotten; when the blame is put upon me and accusing hands are pointing at me. But I also recall other moments of courage when I got up and started over again. I also enjoyed the victories that rewarded my efforts. They were like the morning sun breaking through the dawn clouds. Must every failure always remain a failure ? No moreÖwe should learn to stand up from where we have fallen. And always look at the bright side as the Scripture promised in Romans 8:28, ďÖin all things God works for good with those who love Him, those whom He has called according to His purpose.Ē