My dad loves to exercise but he doesn't like to run either. Years ago, when he was the Georgia state director for FCA, they asked him to run in the Peachtree Road Race. Thousands of people run in the race every year. Somehow he way underestimated the whole miles/kilometers conversion and thought he could just show up and run. Well, just as I envisioned, he had to stop at every water stand along the way.
There were all kinds of people running the race. One guy ran in a tuxedo. To my dad's utter humiliation, about halfway through the race, two people in full-blown chicken costumes blew past him. But of all the people running the race, it was clear that those who were interested in running well and even winning weren't wearing tuxedos or chicken outfits. They had stripped themselves of anything that might hinder them from running their best.
I can't help but think of Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let usThe word that is translated as "everything that hinders" literally means a mass or weight. It was a word used to describe how an athlete would ready himself for action by removing excess weight or even excess clothing. Notice the verse says, "everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles..." These weights may not be sins. There's nothing wrong with tuxedos and chicken suits...but they aren't made for running. What are the weights that you may be carrying that may hinder you from running the race marked out for you? Too many commitments to too many things? Preconceived ideas? A relationship? Guilt? Unforgiveness?
throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let
us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Greg LaMond, two time Tour de France winner was once interviewed about his training and was asked whether or not he lifted weights with his upper body. He said no because he didn't want any more weight on his body than was absolutely necessary to pump his bicycle at the level he wanted. He said that if he got on the scale in the morning and was one pound over the weight he knew he needed to be, he was horrified until he lost the pound. If only we could look at our own hearts and feel horrified over the extra weights we are carrying. If only we were so concerned about removing the things that hinder our relationship with Christ.
One last note, Greg LaMond said that he usually wouldn't notice the extra weight...until he reached the mountains.