Running For God

Provided by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission, which uses Sabbath School
mission offerings to spread the gospel worldwide. Read new stories daily at AdventistMission.org.
Story
144
Running for God
By MAriAn kAzMierczAk
Running brought me to church in Poland. As a young man, I started body-
building because the doctor cautioned me to take measures to improve my
health. Then I got into long-distance running. I loved it! I ran marathons, 62-mile
(100-kilometer) races, and even a 24-hour run over 126 miles (203 kilometers). I
joined a group of runners who trained together several times a week.
After a while, I noticed that Piotr, a runner in our group, missed our training
sessions every Saturday. I couldn’t understand why, and I finally asked him.
“I’ve been thinking about the meaning of life,” Piotr replied. “I’ve been reading
the Bible, and I’ve been going to several churches to find one that follows the
Bible. Now I’ve found such a church. Would you like to study the Bible with
us?”
The Bible studies, led by a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, confused me. I con-
sidered myself to be a devout Christian, and I belonged to another denomination.
One day while we were running, Piotr shocked me with a question. “Did
you know that your clergy aren’t telling you the truth?” he said.
“Now you have gone too far!” I exclaimed. “You’re mixed up.”
“The next time we meet, I’ll bring a Bible,” Piotr said. “You bring your
church’s book of doctrines. We’ll see where the truth lies.”
The proposal seemed good to me. I had always tried to live a truthful life
and to follow the truth that I knew. At our next meeting, Piotr and I com-
pared the two books. I was stunned to realize that my book didn’t match the
teachings of the Bible. Several months later, I was baptized. I was 45.
It felt good to join a church whose members cared about their health.
Soon I noticed that several church members didn’t eat meat. I researched
the plant-based diet and also quit eating meat. Before, I saw my body as my
own and exploited it for my own desires. Now I understand that my body is
not my own. I try not to damage it. It is God’s temple.
Today I am 71, and running remains a major part of my life, although I
have stopped training and competing on Sabbath. Running is an ideal way
to spread the gospel. After a marathon, everyone feels good about their
accomplishments, and it is easy to talk about God. I share who gives me
strength to run at my age.
I run at least three times a week, six miles (10 kilometers)
each time. It takes me about 55 minutes. I run in forests
and in nature. I think about my life and think about God. I
hum hymns and remember Bible verses. I pray for God to
bring someone into my path so I can talk about Him. He
brings people to me.
Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in 2017 that
helped build a television studio for Hope Channel in Poland,
broadcasting the gospel to the Polish-speaking world.

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