Author: Gwen N Mlondobozi
Everyone has a story to tell. Have you ever heard or read someone's story and some part of it changes your perspective about life? I have, quite a few times actually, and sometimes the author has gone unknown, yet that story changed my life in some way.
We have experiences, which hurt us and sometimes even break us, yet broken and cracked we stand, and for that reason alone, I would like to go to the extreme and say we are strong and there is hope.
Every new year seems to bring new year’s resolutions, this year’s trend was #NewYearNewMe. About 3 times a week after coming back from work I like to take a nice slow jog - it reduces my stress levels, helps me think, and I can just get out and have my little adventure for free.
In the first week of this year, the streets were packed with what I call ‘new year’s resolution’ joggers - people I do not usually see jogging: two friends in new matching outfits walking together, a couple walking their dogs, first timers who I assume started this jog as a new year’s resolution Week two was a little quieter and week three somewhat empty - not many new faces just the usual ones. Jogging is now a habit in my life that I am still building; I'm glad I started somewhere.
My story behind starting to exercise was that I hated my body and wanted to do something about it so I ran. I don't think that my body has changed much but the way I look at it now has, and I think it’s because I jog. I am doing something that I never thought I could and I am becoming stronger every day.
The ‘new year’s resolution’ joggers/walkers actually gave me hope. They are a reminder for me that people still have hope in themselves and in their families. They choose to start something or do something different. They may not have the follow through, but they must have had some kind of hope to have started in the first place.
People have not given up, not in themselves and not in the world.
Curious as I am, I always want to know why they started jogging. What’s their story? This is normal because I'm always wondering something about the people jogging. Where do they live? How did they end up here? Does someone love them? Is jogging the only time they can get some peace? What do they do for a living? (When I am not asking such profound questions, I am thinking, ‘I wonder if ordering KFC is fine since I'm going for a run and I've earned it.’)
There are so many stories that are woven into people’s lives that I think, if heard, could change the world.
Thinking about the books of the Bible, i think of ordinary men and women with ordinary lives who have done extraordinary things. The beauty is that the extraordinary is found in the ordinary
It is the story of the young man searching for his father’s flock, ending up in the same place as the prophet who made him the first king over a nation - King Saul.
It’s the story of a widow who chooses to take care of her mother-in law when no-one else will - Ruth.
It’s the story of a young virgin who births the Messiah - Mary.
It’s the story of two fishermen who give up their trade to walk with Jesus – Peter and Andrew.
These stories made it in the history books because they matter. It’s these stories that change us, move us, and tug and pull at our heartstrings. Stories, even the story of joggers trying to build a better habit into their lives, can change us.
Great men have walked or jogged before us. Great men will walk alongside us and great men will walk after us. In the midst of all I’ve written, you might think of yourself as just an ordinary man, a drop in the ocean, but what is your story?
Your story matters, it could change my life.
What is your story?
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