“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
It was only a small bug, but its presence on her [my daughter’s] shoulder caused a nuclear reaction. The decibel level, the jumping up and down with escalating speed – all this was a reaction calling for immediate removal of the small bug as far away as possible. All other issues, cares, conversations were set aside. Only one thing mattered – bug removal.
Our journey of faith is portrayed here as a race. In running such a long race, it is easy to become casual, comfortable, and contented. We can become spiritual tourists focusing on the experiences of the moment, the roadside attractions – and forget we are in a race with a glorious finish line ahead.
Here are three thoughts about this phrase that will help us focus in this race:
- We all carry encumbrances with us on the journey. These hindrances are to be identified and put out of the way. An Olympic runner removes everything but the bare essentials to run the race.
- These obstacles you carry with you may be good things. The choice then is between what is better and what is best. What will help me most in the race and what slows me down? No marathon runner carries a backpack with 20 of his favorite CDs, a large sandwich, ½-gallon of a power drink, and the morning paper for his break time. He is not in a race. He is sightseeing!
- If you are too busy for Bible study, prayer, or serving to bless others, then your business is an encumbrance.
The goal is to run free by the grace of God to bless others, to proclaim His goodness and to enjoy Him forever.
– Written by Edward Bradley, July 8th 2008