Today it came to me in the midst of my quiet time (an epiphany?): Monday is garbage day. It is Monday—and it hit me. I had plenty of room in my garbage can out at the curb and I had noticed a day or two ago some outdated food in the freezer. Because the garbage guy could arrive any moment, I interrupted my devotional time to examine my deep freeze. It wasn’t long before my eyes beheld one or two packages of Tequila-Lime Chicken Wings. I checked the dates and sure enough—one of them, actually both of them were out of date by years, not months! But with the ice build-up, I didn’t realize that there were three more bags of wings—five in all, and yes, all of them seriously out of date! I got back to my prayer time without too much disruption.
Hebrews 12:1-2 speak of running the race without extra encumbrances. The biblical writer admonishes us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles….” Sin can hinder. Sin entangles. It’s like excess baggage. It could be sins. OR–it could just be “stuff”—not necessarily sinful in itself, but not helpful. Some translations add the concept of “weights” (I call it stuff). And this stuff can accumulate—like my five large packages of Tequila-Lime Chicken Wings! Stuff from the past with long overdue dates. We should’ve taken care of this stuff a long time ago! Romans, chapter six, begins by challenging us not to put up with a lifestyle of sliding back into more and more sin. Don’t you know that you’re dead—and dead people can’t sin!
After you read this, you might be tempted to see what your freezer holds. But of course I’m talking about a courageous moral inventory. The Holy Spirit wants us to take some time to look at the stuff in our lives—old, dead, lifeless patterns, habits, hang-ups. Oh, and did I tell you that it opens up a lot of room? Room for some daily bread that comes from the Lord. Healthy nourishment that helps us to run and win the race.
How much baggage you got? Let’s lighten up to better run the race!