Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, 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. (NIV)
A pair of brand-name jogging shoes hung laced together over the telephone wire at a busy intersection by the lake. All summer long, traffic was non-stop every day until late at night. Finally, the first weekend of September was over, and traffic died down.
On our evening walk, my son and I saw two young boys, ten or twelve years old, trying to bring down the shoes. They had two sticks, each half-an-inch in diameter, taped together, one end overlapping the other. At each thrust, the sticks slid off the soles and made the shoes swing.
We sat at the lake awhile, and on our return, we noticed the boys still at it. School was beginning the next day, and it was almost dark.
I suggested to the boys that if they put a razor blade on the end of the sticks and cut the lace, the shoes would come down. My son said, "That's a novel way of doing it." When you are short and don't have much time left, it works.
This made me ponder how frequently we hang on to practices that are ineffectual or even destructive, and miss out on God's best. The Bible has advice for us about cutting loose: "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips." (Colossians 3:8 NIV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we realize that there are always encumbrances that distract us and keep us from functioning in a way that is pleasing to You. Please help us to be aware of these, and with Your help, cut them loose and let go of them. Amen.