Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV)
Let us lay aside every weight….
When I think of something that weighs me down the immediate thought that comes to mind are expectations. I carry loads of expectations. A lot of expectations may be considered normal, simple, easy, every day practices, obvious even but that doesn’t mean that people will live up to my expectations.
People are human, real, flawed, weak, earthen vessels, breakable. What’s important to me even if I consider it important may be of no significance to someone else. People grow up with and learn different sets of values, their family and community may not have modelled the the things that I value and therefore come to expect.
The weight of expectations will undoubtedly cause you to stumble and fall. It will give rise to offense and hard heartedness.
Often I put this weight down but then unbeknownst to myself I find I have picked it up and am carrying it again. It’s such a familiar weight and we’ve probably got used to carrying it and adjusted our balance to compensate. It might take awhile to stand upright and not take expectations every where we go.
We need to ‘lay aside every weight’. We can’t run the race very far at all if we are carrying baggage. A race calls for us to have on us only what is necessary.
I picture elite athletes. They often wear specially designed suits to make them even more aerodynamic, lighter, less hindered, do to run with a backpack on is completely non productive for us, it tires us out, and wears us out before time.
Strip off the things that are bulging in our pockets, in our backpacks and handbags. Put on your comfy pants and trainers. Then you can run.
Two other words jump out at me ‘hinders’ and ‘entangles’. What is hindering and entangling me? I need to throw it off!
There is a race marked out for us and these things are like vines hanging in our way and we have to pull them down, get them out of our way so we can travel unhindered on that path in front of us.
So what is hindering me today? Let me think about it a moment. What needs to be cleared off my path…
I think the main thing is fear, but day by day with God at my side I face things that come up.
There are things in our past, in our histories, in our families that hinder us for sure! How we choose to see these things and if and when we decide to work through them will determine how long, if at all it will be a hinderance.
Reactions can be a hinderance! What about me? What about me?? This can be a huge hinderance.
I think we need to dismantle these things. De-construct their framework piece by piece. When we go it like this rather than in a hurry to sweep it out the door we can see lies for what the really are!
When we dismantle something we get to see what it’s made of, how it was made when we see it for what it is then we can be aware of the snare.
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