"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."1
I remember reading about an airplane used by missionaries that gained two-hundred extra pounds in weight since it was manufactured sixteen years previously. Nobody knows where the extra weight came from.
"We've been joking about the only plane in Weight Watchers," said the pilot. "But it's really a serious matter. Unless we can shed the extra weight, the plane's utility is seriously limited. We just can't carry an extra two-hundred pounds and have space for the cargo we need to deliver."
Many of us, like the missionaries' airplane, are carrying extra weight that can stop us from being fully functional and fully alive. For some, the extra weight may be physical, which can lead to ill health. For others, it may be unresolved emotional or spiritual issues. For example, if I am carrying an overload of guilt, fear, grief, hurt, anger, or resentment, or have some unconfessed sin or unresolved addiction in my life. Any of these can keep me bogged down and hinder my being fully productive.
God is not out to clobber us because of these things, but he wants us—with his help and that of supportive friends—to resolve and overcome our issues so that we can get rid of the weight that holds us back and thereby free us to "run with patience the race set before us" and win!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to find and trim the "fat" in my life—those things that so easily beset me and keep me from becoming and doing all that you have envisioned for me to be and do. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Hebrews 12:1 (NIV).