Testimony source: Unedited from
Running with all my heart is a way for me to thank God for the opportunities and gifts he has given me. Through the ups and downs of training, racing, and injury, I constantly remind myself that all I have comes from God and without Him, I would not be the person I am today.
Whether I win or lose, I believe that God gets great joy when I approach my training, working, and racing with an attitude of power, love, and discipline. I try to adopt this same view in other areas of my life besides running.
A little insight to my past -
My mother died from cancer when I was four years old. Because of this, I became a very driven child, using sports as a way for me to feel important. I had to win everything I took part in to maintain my self-esteem. I was angry at God for allowing her to die and often viewed my life as unfair.
During my teenage years, I felt a great need to leave New Zealand and explore the world. I wanted to be in control of my future. I wanted popularity, money, and fame. I thought a running scholarship to America was my ticket to happiness.
After my first year at The University of Michigan, I felt like there was little more for me to experience. I was running well; I had good grades; and I had made lots of friends. Yet surprisingly, the very things I thought would make me happy had only left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. Slowly, I started feeling a sense of God's presence in my life. Little by little, He began to show me that there was more to life than simply my own desires and pursuits.
During this time, unknown to me, many people were praying for me. They started encouraging me to consider what I thought about Jesus how my life could change if He were a part of it . At the time, I didn't really knowthe answers to these questions, but I was very curious to find out.
What Jesus showed me-
Jesus showed me how we can live life to the fullest. Rather than seeking money or power, He chose to help feed the hungry and heal the sick. Jesus lived a perfect life, never deceiving or hurting anyone. Many people started following Jesus, and cheered that He would become their new king. The leaders in power became fearful of Jesus, so they decided to have Him killed. Jesus did not run or hide, but chose to accept this fate. The coolest thing about Jesus is that although He was the Son of God, and had the ability to do anything, he still allowed the soldiers to nail him to a cross. His innocence made it possible for humankind--the imperfect and broken people that we are--to be forgiven and set free from our sin.
After months of feeling God tug on my heart, in October of 2003, I asked Jesus to forgive me from my sins against others and against God. I thanked Him for sacrificing his life, so that I could be forgiven and have the 100% guarantee of joining Him in Heaven when I die. Now, every day is an opportunity for me to thank Him. At this point in my life, I get to do this through the awesome experience of running with all my heart for gold.
Nick Willis (www.willisrunning.com)