I want to start off our conversation by being open with you. I hated running. There was nothing I found enjoyable about it. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn't “run”, frankly the whole experience was always awful for me. I eventually enjoyed working out at the gym, with equipment. That was very comfortable for me, challenging, but comfortable.
A few years ago, I had an opportunity to have a personal trainer, Corner Van Zyl was his name, God bless his soul. He challenged me to join his 5k run, which happened once a month, and I said yes to the challenge. I hated it! After the torturing experiences I had while running this 5k run 3 times (which felt like 3 life times), I always remember his wise words when I asked him, why I was taking so long to reach my fitness/ weight goals. He said; “You are comfortable doing what's most comfortable, you have to do what's most uncomfortable to you, more than what's most comfortable, to reach extraordinary results.” Such a profound statement, which has now become a principle for all areas of my life, and not just physical health.
When I moved to Chicago, going to the gym was no longer my number one option due to finances so I had to expand my options, and running became the best option. Its Free!
I tried a lot of different “techniques” to get myself to like running but nothing I did was working. I encouraged myself, I had a good playlist, I listen to motivational videos based on not giving up, but this wasn’t working for me. I could not get myself to be consistent and committed. I wanted to get myself to run at least 1 mile without stopping!
One day I decided to ask the Holy Spirit to run with me, and help me run just one time and NOT stop, and I did. I was so proud of myself. I could not believe I did it! The next day I was pumped, I thought; “I did great yesterday, I can do it again today” Well that is not what happened, instead it became harder. However, the Holy Spirit began to reveal something to me which was the hindrance to my ability to succeed in this area. He also made me aware that the same hindrance had “dual citizenship” in my life. My mind was the hindrance. My mind is the controlling engine to my body, and other functions that make me whole. He began showing me that I can, but I have believed for so long that I cannot. He then told me that He wants to help me change how I think. For the next few days He quickened my ears to my own thoughts. I was appalled at my own thoughts, about ME!
I soon realized, I was not running my body, I was running my mind. Thus, I fell in love with running. Running is defined as; the action of managing or operating something. The Bible also alludes to this truth in 2 Peter 1:5-7- “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” I am called to make every effort to add to my faith. Running my mind is very key, because that is the key to my transformation. Once I acknowledged and understood what God was doing, I then made an effort to say, I am going to make running a habit even though I absolutely hated it.
As this became a routine, it birthed other healthy godly routines. I would wake up earlier, pray, read the word and then go running. Every morning I ran my mind, I managed what came in; thoughts, emotions, decisions, and processed my mindset. I started using these times to talk to God, and hear from Him, sermons, and ideas for my latest written book came from this time with the Lord. I also used this time to meditate on the scriptures I read that morning.
The Holy Spirit then challenged me to step it up. He asked me to start speaking life in my mind in this time. I never realized how mean I was to myself, how insensitive, and verbally abusive I was towards myself. The more I ran, the more I grew this amazing relationship with myself, and I am so grateful for it. He challenged me to start speaking life about others too in this time, in my own thoughts. Which has completely transformed the way I relate to others, and now I genuinely love others as myself, because I learned to sincerely love me.
God used running to transform my mind in an amazing, miraculous way. He still does.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
This journey has certainly not been easy at all, but I take it one step/run at a time. I have had days when I feel like a victor and days when I feel defeated. Yet, I don’t give up on myself, because God won’t give up on me. Here are a few principles, I learned from my running journey:
To be intentional about my thought, emotional, and spiritual life.
To love myself and others from Christ’s love, because His love is abundant and overflowing.
To put effort, into adding to my faith, I am the one responsible for taking responsibility for my relationship with God.
To be intentional about what I meditate on.
To always speak life into myself and others, privately as well as publicly.
To not give up on me, because Christ never gave up on me!
Am I suggesting that you start running? No, only if you want to but I am saying this; intentionally work on your mind. Your breakthrough, your peace, your next level is directly linked to your mind being renewed and transformed. Be obsessed with the word and applying it to your life.
Zintle is a graduate of the Chicago Masters Commission, and is currently an Intern for Radiant Women Ministries under P. Elizabeth. Zintle is a Life Coach, certified through Lets live Coaching institute and is affiliated with the Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA), as well as the Federation for Nuero Linguistic Programming Coaching professionals (NLPCP). She also is a published author of a woman empowerment book "On Stiletto's".