Originally published in the Catholic Times, Feb. 28, 2106.
A few weeks ago, I had only one student for my evening strength class. I was a little disappointed that more people didn’t make it to class, even though I understand that work, traffic, family plans or simply being tired after working all day can make it hard for people to make it to class.
However, this turned out to be a great opportunity for me to work one-to-one with this student on his weight-lifting technique.
I ended up training as well because it makes it more fun for the student, and it can be helpful, especially if the student is a visual learner.
We had a great time challenging each other to moving well and lifting strong.
Our conversation shifted from training to a new topic when the student revealed a struggle he/she was having in daily life. I listened and offered encouraging words. I felt blessed to know this student who has been working to develop new healthy habits over the past few months.
By the end of class, we were both feeling energized from talking, laughing and training.
As I was driving home, I said a little prayer for my student. Life can be hard and praying for each other is so powerful. I am really proud of my student’s progress inside and outside the gym; I prayed that this child of God will continue to be strong and active in his/her faith in daily life.
I started thinking about how God felt so present to me, through this student, in the gym while we were training. I am always a little surprised that God’s presence is so clear to me in my workplace -- in the middle of what I do every day.
But why not? God is always and everywhere -- which surely means he is where we are in the midst of our ordinary activities. How often do I miss seeing him because I am too busy?
The one-to-one time with my student was an important reminder to me that God reaches us through the people and events in our daily lives just as powerfully as he does in our quiet prayer time. But if we are moving too fast, we’ll surely miss the little miracles.
I see in my neighbor the Person of Jesus Christ. - St. Gerard Majella