A few times when I was at the gym training for the half Ironman, I would be on the treadmill and just give up. I would be running well, and be on around 45 minutes, slight knee pain, bit of discomfort but ok, then I would just literally stop running, switch off the machine and go home.

After thinking it through I realized I was actually losing the mental, mind battle that you need to train for the long haul.

I would start this inner Q and A in my head whilst running through the boredom. ‘Why am I doing this? This is enough, I have run far enough today, I need to get to work, quick shower and I can go home, it’s nearly lunch time, was that my phone ringing?’

Once that Q and A had started the inevitable happened and I just stopped, it was so powerful that all the work getting to gym, all the food I had eaten for that training session, the time and energy spent just getting this couple of hours to train was wasted. Weird, or is it?

A section in the bible I love is this:

“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

I think that when we give ourselves over to Jesus, to his plans, his power and his will, even our minds can be transformed. When you get pitched a curved ball in life where does your mind go? When the wheels come off and the toys have all been thrown from the pram where has your mind gone? Sounds silly but even when we don’t get things our own way or in our preferred timing, when our favorite team loses or we suffer some sort of defeat, where does your mind go?

‘That’s it! I can’t do it anymore.. I have had enough’ (That’s where mine can go.) How about when you try something, you step out and stick your head up and friendly fire knocks you back? You take criticism and ridicule for being that bloke who tried something. Then where does your mind go?

I think that this transforming of our minds is gradual but so vital in forging gospel men, a new kind of man who can take defeat and get up again. A new kind of man who can lift his head and know that the field he fights in, the strength he has and the identity he carries is more than his own. When our minds are transformed to be like that of our saviour we take on a new way of thinking, a new way of being us. When that happens we are able to begin to test and see what Gods will is! Instead of our mind folding inwards and imploding, we can see beyond and get a glimpse of the bigger picture being formed.

Image Credit: Martin Kníže