My husband tells the story of a time he went hiking with a group of guys, one of whom was huffing and puffing and having an especially tough time making it up the side of the mountain. Things made a bit more sense when they reached the top and the guy plunked down, pulled a ginormous watermelon out of his backpack and asked, "Anyone want some?"
Now, I have enough common sense not to try and huff a huge watermelon up the side of the mountain (or to try to climb a mountain at all, for that matter). But I sure can relate to trying to take a little too much baggage on my journey.
I can't get Hebrews 12:1 off my mind lately: "Let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." My wonderfully loving and creative God has set a course for my life--a race I was made to run. But how can I run with my arms wrapped around a watermelon? How can my strides lead me to where I am to go with its vines draping down around my legs and tripping me up?
I can't. I cannot possibly run the kind of race in the kind of way I was meant to when I'm holding on to hindrances.
I need to drop my watermelon and run. You need to drop your watermelon and run. We were made for an abundant life and we will miss too much of the set-aside-for-us abundance if we do not grab hold of whatever holds us, throw it off, and run like our lives depend on it--Because, in fact, the abundant life really does.
WHATEVER is keeping you from running with reckless abandon the race God has set before you, pull it off and RUN. If anything (or anyone) draws your eye away from total devotion to Jesus Christ--even if you have to pry it off, then do so--and RUN.
Throw and Go.
You may think this is just about you, that only you are affected. Not even! "Throwing and Going" impacts generations. Can you imagine the heritage your children will receive through you throwing off what hinders and entangles? By feverishly pursuing the path God has for you? By pulling off whatever is holding you back? By walking (running) in obedience to the God who goes out of His way to bless the upright?
Or you can just keep running with that giant watermelon in your hands. Sadly, that impacts generations, too.
And think of those around you who need you to throw off everything and run. Consider the people who make an impact in your own walk with God. You need them running their race unfettered so that they can speak truth or serve or minister to you. But there are those who need YOU to run YOUR race unfettered so that you can do the same for them. We run first and foremost out of love and obedience to our God. But we also owe it to the people around us to run our race right, because of the impact it will have on them. There are people around YOU who are waiting for you to run right and fulfill the call God has uniquely placed on YOUR life, because they will be blessed by you running your race unhindered.
What's your watermelon? What's that thing you're trying to huff along with you as you run the race marked out for you? I don't even think it's that we don't want to run the race God has for us; We just want to be able to take all our stuff along for the run.
Throw off everything that hinders you.
Throw off the sin that so easily entangles you.
Run with perseverance the race marked out for you.
Throw and Go.