Sure, this kind of title at this time of the year can cause you to think of New Year’s resolutions and post-holiday urgencies. Not exactly where we are going, but it is a good visual aid.
I lost fourteen pounds during the summer between my junior and senior year. (And then a few more…which led to other issues.) I learned many diet tricks and became well-acquainted with different weightlifting and cardio exercises. I worked very hard and truly laid aside some weight. However, the kind of weight that the writer of Hebrews mentioned is a different matter entirely.
One translation states to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” We like the excitement of deciding to change eating habits and start working out more…for a little while. Then so many of us lose focus and fall back into prior patterns. What about when it comes to this race we are running? This life we are living for the Lord? We are surrounded by many witnesses—heroes of the faith who have already crossed the finish line—and we have the same choices they had.
We can run toward Jesus, carrying all of our baggage and allowing the sin that trips us up easily to tie our shoelaces together. Or we can lay it all aside and sprint in freedom toward the One who set us free. I don’t know if you have ever walked with ankle weights on, but I have. It is amazing how light you feel once you take them off and begin to walk with no hindrance.
While it is awesome to shed a few pounds, I urge you more than that to lay aside the weight that truly hinders you. I challenge you to find out what baggage keeps you weighed down, that sin that keeps you entangled. Once you identify what is slowing you down, throw it off and run toward Jesus. He endured to the end. Will you?
Father, I don’t want anything slowing me down as I chase Your heart and Your will. I don’t want anything hindering me as I run toward You. Help me to truly lay aside every weight, so that I can live in freedom for You . In Jesus’ Name. Amen.