Being a Christian involves having a personal, day-to-day relationship with God. It was during my first year at high school that I accepted Jesus Christ into my life and entered into this personal relationship. During the years that followed I didn't have the assurance that I really was a child of His. When all went well and I was happy, I felt like a child of God. When all wasn't well, I didn't feel like a child of His. I would then receive Him into my life all over again. This happened repeatedly and I found it frustrating. At this stage I was depending on my feelings, not God's promises.
During my first semester at Stellenbosch University I began to train with a bunch of guys. While we were training they would simply start talking about the Lord; how good He is, what He does for them. This made a deep impression on me. Up until that time, my idea of being a Christian had been more in the line of reading of reading my Bible in the evening, or hearing about the Lord in church or in a Bible study group. During an ordinary day I would never really speak to anybody about Him. These guys were different. I could see it in their lives. This was a turning point in my life. I began to have an assurance of salvation, that once one has received Him, one is His child. It doesn't matter how one feels or whether things go well or not, one stays a child of the King. This was the first year that I began to live. From then on I found that I could involve the Lord in other areas of my life and started taking a sincere interest in other people. You see, one can't take a degree, a car, nice clothing, track shoes or anything else with one to Heaven. One can only take people. So surely I must tell people about the Lord. All this motivated me to really start witnessing, and speaking to my friends. I enjoy my sport and run because it is fun. For me, knowing the Lord has made this enjoyment possible. It is no trouble for me to go out and train in the afternoons because enjoying it makes it easier. The moment I don't I'll stop. I have no special secrets for success in my athletics achievements. I have an ordinary training programme. Success for me comes through training consistently over the long term. One cannot expect to come out on top if one decides to skip training sessions for just any flimsy reason. It comes with time. One has to be prepared to work hard. And this is easier to do if one enjoys training. I am in the first place a Christian who happens also to be an athlete. The two are inseparable. You cannot say you are a Christian on Sundays when you go to church and when you have devotional times, but when you are training you are on your own, so my athletics is just a part of my life. I am first and foremost a Christian, and secondly an athlete - but the two are not separate compartments of my life.
Prior to every race, I ask the Lord to use me as would seem best to Him. I also know that I, too, have to give my best, then God will give His best. Then, having asked that of Him, whether it goes well with me or not, the result will be the best. I can be content in that. Then, when I do well, I am overjoyed because I know that it is the Lord who wanted it that way... and when I don't do well, I don't have to feel bad because it happened that way for a good reason.
Although being a Christian isn't always smooth sailing, it is great to be a child of God because God is love, His will is love and His laws are laws of love. As the Bible says, "Let him that glories, glory in the Lord." Athletics is just a gift, and without the Lord I would not have accomplished anything on my own.
If you would like to know more about Jesus and what He can do for you, just click the button on the left side of your screen to change your life.