I have a confession to make…I envy marathon runners! How do they have the stamina and the willpower to keep running for 26 long, grueling miles? What keeps them going when they are ready to give up? What do they think about over the course of those long miles? How do they have the gumption to sign up for another marathon when they are still recovering from sore muscles and blisters from the last marathon?
As I have attended marathons (as a spectator of course!) and talked to marathon runners, I have gleaned some valuable insights from running that can be applied to this life that God has given us. One of the insights that I have learned is from the special clothing that runners wear. They don’t run in everyday clothes of jeans or boots or even a coat when it is cold. They run in clothing that is light and unencumbering. They want clothing that will not impede their speed or cause distractions.
If we apply this principle to our every day lives, what are we “wearing” that might be impeding our walk with God? What sin or distraction is hampering our race? What do we need to “throw off”?
Hebrews 12:1 says: “…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.”
The word “entangle” is such a vibrant word. It means to: complicate, hold back, confuse, embarrass, entrap, perplex, hamper, impede, trap, snarl, unsettle, burden, and compromise. If we apply “entangle” to our lives, what is holding us back from living the best life we can possibly live?
Here are some great questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have old hurts, disappointments, grudges or unforgiveness that is weighing you down and “entangling” you? Throw them off. Ask God to show you what you may be holding on to.
- Are you caught up in a sin or addiction that is “entangling” you? Is it time to seek the wisdom of a godly counselor? Throw it off and leave it behind you so that you can run unhampered!
- Are you surrounding yourself with friends who are not living godly lives? Your friends are either pulling you closer to God or pulling you away. Which is it for you?
- What else is crippling your “run”? Wrong motives, lack of goals, negative people, negative input from social media, news, events? Change your habits and you can change your life!
God doesn’t intend for us to run this life with a heavy backpack of hurts, sin, addictions, negativity. He wants us to set that backpack down and run unencumbered with the joy of living life to its fullest. We can do this….let’s run!
By Anita Kelley