Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Run the Race... but First, Unload
Could you run a mile?
If asked to do this, most of us could probably whip out a mile. Even those of us who are out of shape... running a mile isn't THAT big of a feat.
What about running a mile with a book bag full of bricks on your back? Suddenly, the task seems difficult. Our backs would be weighed down and after about half of one lap, we'd already be tired. We would become weak VERY fast and the heaviness of the bricks would not only slow us down but almost make the task impossible to accomplish. There's no doubt that we'd be sore the next day.
What am I talking about? In Hebrews 12 (NIV), we can read:
"1Therefore, 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. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
The book bag of bricks represents burdens we carry in our lives. Hebrews says to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and LET US RUN WITH PERSEVERENCE THE RACE MARKED OUT FOR US." If every brick is a burden, think of how weighed down we allow ourselves to be by carrying them. It makes it tough! Why carry around more bricks than we have to, if any at all? All it does is slow us down and makes us tired. After awhile, these burdens can make us "sore" if we don't get rid of them. Just like carrying a brick load of weight on your back would make you physically sore, carrying a burden load of trouble in your life will make you spiritually sore.
What is a burden? Dictionary.com says:
"Something that is carried.
Something that is emotionally difficult to bear.
A source of great worry or stress; weight.
tr.v. bur·dened, bur·den·ing, bur·dens
To weigh down; oppress.
To load or overload.
Synonyms: burden, affliction, cross, trial, tribulation"
Instead of carrying all your burdens around and letting it hinder your ability to run the race, give them to God! During my online search, I found this article that captures this concept.
Are you carrying burdens today? Take the book bag off and hand it to God. He'll take care of it... and your life will seem so much lighter!
Hebrews goes on to tell us that we should "Endure hardship as discipline..." None of us liked getting spankings or sitting in time-out when we were children. But why did our parents do those AWFUL things to us? Cuz they love us :-) and they knew if they didn't, we'd never learn. Same goes for our Loving Lord. Hebrews says, "But God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness."
Let us continue to unload our burdens and give them to God so that we can better run the race that He has set for us to run!