No, it’s not boxing (because my heart probably won’t be able to take it haha!), but something else that has been increasingly imminent in this man’s character. While the nation was in mourning at his latest, and most heart-wrenching loss, I too was dumbfounded at the way it happened. I mean, c’mon, Manny Pacquiao KO’d?! When I heard the news, I opted not to watch anymore because I know I’d probably weep like a baby. Pacquiao is as dear to me as he is to millions of Filipinos. Pinoys from all walks of life have been united in cheering for this man. Some even went so far as to declare him to be our national hero. That being said, his loss was taken not-so-lightly by his countrymen—some were deeply saddened as I was, some were sympathetic and encouraging, some were angry, and some chose to blame—from his Bible studies, his not hearing his usual mass the day before, his being over-generous (huh?), to Freddie Roach’s losing streak.
Amidst all the talk and the throwing of blame, one might wonder, how is Manny taking this all in? One statement that came from him answered it all,
(Can you enter the world of competition and expect that you’d never lose and always win? Time will come when you would lose some, and you would win some. And when that time of loss arrives, you accept that wholeheartedly because you chose to enter that. A lot of people put their faith on God only in good times. But when bad times come like in my case, their faith diminishes, and sometimes wavers. But with me, my faith has just increased.)
|Image from guardian.co.uk|
And immediately I was comforted by his words. I no longer felt pity for this man because he got knocked out in the ring. I felt joy for him because no matter what, he has God. And what can compare to that?
God in Manny Pacquiao’s life means boundless grace, peace and joy, as I can only imagine. And on the outside, God in his life has meant the return of a blissful marriage, freedom from the bondages of alcohol, gambling, and immense graciousness that is forming his character.
He lost the match but was quick to thank God that He has kept both he and Marquez safe inside the ring, offer his congratulatory greetings to the winner, and moved on with his life. No vents of anger, vows of revenge, cries of cheating, or traces of self-pity. This was a man who took it all like a man.
Manny’s legacy may always be as a great boxer, but in my mind, it’s increasingly becoming to be a man who completely surrendered himself to God. As the years pass and his experience adds up, what he may be able to teach the younger generation are far beyond what happens in the ring, rather, what a great God can do to an ordinary man like him.
What I admire most about Pacquiao ever since was his humility. He was not one to hide his vulnerabilities in the ring—kneeling down in prayer before a match as if putting it all in God’s hands. And isn’t that what we all need to do, whoever we may be, no matter what we have accomplished—to kneel down before a God infinitely higher and mightier than we are, acknowledge our limitations, and to rise up in faith as we put all of that, and our heart’s desires, all in His hands? When we do, I believe that God will also bless us with “long-sightedness”, or the ability to believe beyond what is in front of us (may that be loss, illness, or afflictions). Manny certainly seems to be looking way past that KO, so perhaps we should all take the cue from him J
|Image from latino.foxnews.com|
Personally, I’m just happy for the Pacman because he’s become so much more than just a boxer. He’s running the race marked out for him, and it’s showing in his character. And with his stature and influence, his life can be used by God to teach many. As Abraham was known for his faith, I believe Manny will also be the same. I know I’m eager to share stories about him to my son as Gabbie sure can learn or two about faith by his example. Perhaps even the whole country can, too J