Cross country runner Kodi Mullins shares how his relationship with God has impacted his life and how he seeks to impact others.

When I was very young, my parents divorced, and my mom later married a Christian man who got us into church. I prayed and asked Jesus into my life at age 6, introduced to God by my grandpa, who is a strong believer.

My real father was not a believer, and I only saw him once a week and every other weekend. At the age of eight, I started praying for him and inviting him to Father’s Day services at our church. After four years of constant prayer, he finally came to God, and now he’s a high school pastor in our church.

I learned that prayer is a powerful tool, and even simple, consistent prayers are effective. It took more than four years of prayer for my dad to begin a relationship with God, but that transformation in him has been awesome to see.

As a freshman in high school, I began using the running talent with which God had blessed me. Though in the past I have been prideful, now I run for God since I know He gave me this talent and I want to use it for Him. If I am training my hardest, I know that I’m using my talent and doing everything my coach says for God. I want my drive and focus to come from Him. So many people feel the pressure of others to run, but knowing that God loves me no matter what, knowing that I performed the best I could, I am not disappointed.

When you race well, you can be encouraged, but you don’t want to be over the top. When you do badly, you don’t get too down on yourself. I want to focus on my training but also try to evangelize to people on the team, leading by example and trying to be an encouragement to everyone. I want them to see what’s different about me.

I pray often for God to open a door for me everywhere I go and hope the conversation leads to something that in the long run will impact others. I try to be aware of everyone around me and realize that I can help impact how they will spend their eternal lives. I try to take advantage of every situation I have instead of just walking by people. I pray for God to show me how I can serve Him and join what He’s doing.

An important verse during my journey has been Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” That has spoken to me ever since I was a kid. When I feel like I’m not reaching people on campus, that encourages me to not give up but keep going.

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