Running was something in high school that I hated. I could not stand it. it did not seem fun to me. Probably because we had to run when we messed up at soccer. When I went to college I gained my freshman 15 and wanted to lose weight. So I took up working out and running. I ran 6 days a week and in 7 months I lost 36 pounds. Since then I have enjoyed running a lot. I run a few times a week and when I first moved to Memphis, one of my students convinced me to run the St. Jude half marathon in December. While I took up the challenge and some days it is way easier than others to go for runs and push myself. But other days it is tough to run or even be active.
But just like in everything, God has been teaching me through this whole running endeavor that I have set out on. It all started with this video in December. I watched this over Christmas break casually in a starbucks as I was waiting on a friend to catch up with. It was very good but I didn’t really start re-thinking about it until I started to train for this half marathon. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was so applicable to me but also to anyone else. I finally got it. I am constantly running this race called Life. This race will end when I take my last breath on this earth. I will cross the finish line of this life and I pray that I hear
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”-Matthew 25:21.
But the part that got me about Hebrews 12:1 and the video which I have rewatched over and over again now, was not the running part. It was the part that said “lay aside every weight and sin.” It didn’t say just lay aside sin. but it said lay aside every weight that does not help you run.
Now if I am going on a run, I will usually take as little as possible. I will have the clothes that I am wearing, my shoes, my phone (for music) and headphones, and my key to either my apartment or car depending on which I started running from. If it does not help me to run then I don’t take it. I don’t take a box of twinkies, my cowboy boots, or a heavy coat. Because all those things would weigh me down and in turn slow me down. So why when we are on this run with Jesus do we try to bring other things into it that weigh us down. Throw them off and RUN. If it is an addiction, talk to someone and have them hold you accountable. If it is a bad habit, put it down. If it is friends that drag you down and don’t push you toward the cross and toward Jesus, maybe it is time to reevaluate your friendship and not spend so much time with that person. Its not just sins that we are called to throw off but EVERYTHING that entangles us and leads us away from Jesus.
You might look at that list and say I am going to lose so much, I can’t do it. Look at Hebrews 12:2. “ looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus knew in the final days of his that he would be turned over to the authorities. He knew that he would be betrayed by everyone. He would be standing alone. He knew that he would be beaten and humiliated. He knew on the Mount of Olives as described in Luke 22:39-46 “his sweat became like great drops of blood.” This man knew that in the world’s eyes he was going to lose everything. He was going to have to die. But Jesus did it for us. He lost everything so that we could have everything. JESUS LOST EVERYTHING FOR US! So that we could be called sons, daughters, friends, and not enemies of the King. Because we were born into sin. We are full of sin. We sin every day. And without Jesus in our lives we are condemned. We are guilty of a holy wrath from a holy God. We deserve death in the most brutal way possible. Because we have sinned against a holy God. So if you think that throwing aside every weight that does not help you run toward Jesus will be a lot of loss, think again.
The loss of the things of this world will be worth eternity with a holy God that we get to call Abba Father. The Christian life is gain like John Piper said. It is gain, to know Jesus and experience his presence. So I’ll pose the question, Is laying aside every weight and sin worth it to you?
Like the Blog? Hate the blog? Let me know