"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us." Heb 12:1b
What strikes me about this verse that there is a distinction between "everything that hinders" and "the sin that...entangles". We tend to assume that whatever would hinder us from our Spiritual walk with God, or our "race" would be a sin...but that's not what it says.
On "The Amazing Race" Sunday night, team members had to strip down to their underwear and run over a mile through the streets of Moscow. One of the guys had huge boots on. There he was, sans clothing, but with huge bulky boots.
When I read this verse this morning, that picture came to mind. Those things that hinder us that are not sins are like those big, clunky army boots. They're not wrong or bad but they do nothing to help us run the race swiftly and with perserverence.
I know what's hindering me...expectations, too many commitments, dreams & wishes...
Talking to a friend the other day, we meandered into a conversation about kids activities and people choosing simple lives. I live in a tiny town where, frankly, there aren't always a lot of distractions. That's a blessing. But even here, in Mayberry, life can be hectic and it can be easy to strap on army boots and carry layers of unneccessary baggage while running the "race set out for me". Daily, it's an effort to seek God and willingly shed the extra stuff...to limit the kids participation in activities, to limit my own commitments (to good things), to rest and teach rest to my kids, to show hospitality without "entertaining", to let go of what I think are the "have to's" and sit at His feet...the list goes on...
The other verse that I read this morning that I think dovetails with Hebrews 12 is Psalm 46:10a..."Cease striving and know that I am God."