God Extends His Hand at You
My name is Juan Stenner, I do athletics, I have just finished high school and this semester I was devoted to athletics one hundred percent. This was in preparation for Pan American Games.
I became involved in the Opus Dei through my parents, who are supernumeraries. I now attend training talks and some activities.
I've been doing athletics since I was seven. The advantage of doing sports is that it has helped me organize to put God in my everyday activity. Sports gives you quite a lot of virtues and one is constancy. When you can no longer go on, when you are about to give up, you ask God to give you a hand: "Help me, that I'm two miles away and I can't, but help me do them just as well, to finish well." That improves you as a person and as an athlete. It brings you closer to God.
These last three years I've sacrificed Fridays and weekends in general. At first, it's pretty heavy, but then it's worth it. Just before we competed, they put us in the stadium where I found my friends, brothers, and all the people I love. Seeing together all the people who support me, was one of the greatest satisfactions of my life.
The Opus Dei is for me to sanctify the things I do every day. In my case it's athletics, school, all the activities I do during the day. Sanctifying yourself does not mean going to church, slamming your knees and asking God for things. No. It means offering God what you do during the day and doing it in the best way possible.
One funny thing that happens within athletics, is that they don't know God. That's why it's a good thing to do apostolate, so that we can be able to talk to them. People are interested in how God affects my life and I'm often asked: How are you doing so well? Why do you win? I always tell them that every day I offer God the things I do, and I do them out of love for God, and that’s how God gives you a hand.
This year I begin a new challenge, which is to earn my pass to the Olympics in London. It won’t be easy at all, but with God's help and doing things right as I've been doing them, I think I can be there.
Stenner participated in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara and is now preparing for a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics. He receives training at an Opus Dei center and has learned to offer God all that comes with being a good sportsman.