Grace in Action


Gael and Prettidutta.jpgHaving completed  the Sri Chinmoy Six Day running race on two previous occasions, I was inspired to once again attempt this ultra in April, 2007 (The pic on the right is me (right) with my friend Preetidutta on the World Harmony Run in New Zealand)

I had been suffering from back problems and subsequently had put on weight.  My intention was to overcome these problems and start a training programme, however April came around and my back was still causing me considerable problems, stiffness and pain.

Yet I kept on planning to enter the race, and though running was obviously no longer an option I could still walk.  I remember one day finding myself at a shopping mall buying equipment for the race, having the realisation that a lot of these people in the mall looked in better shape to attempt the event than I did, and that if I told anybody I was preparing for this six day race they would probably think I was mad! 

However all the time it was like an invisible hand ever so gently  guiding me to keep going.  My mind was continually questioning, why are you doing this? But I would just find myself planning towards the race.

When I arrived in New York I knew I was not fit to cover even 10 miles, but I marvelled at the ongoing feeling of being guided here by something much stronger than my mind, an impulse to trust and go forward which bypassed any doubts.

Late in the  afternoon before the the next day’s race began, I walked past Sri Chinmoy in a line of other visitors, He gave me the most wonderful smile.  I had not told Guru about any of my physical problems but deep down within that smile I could feel his reassurance and knew I had been fortunate enough to experience a lesson in faith.

I started the race the next day and the miracle occurred, I became more and more flexible until all my back problems and pain disappeared, along with any stiffness.  I was able to complete the six days in spite of all the seeming problems that had confronted me. 

This indeed was a miracle that took place in my  life, an expression of the beauty of God’s Grace that led me to challenge the impossible, removed all the barriers, and carried me  along on a journey of belief and faith that I will always remember.

With deep gratitude.

Shvastanee Ballantyne