Sunday, January 3, 2010
Picking up trash and throwing aside the weights....
I asked her, "What if you walked into this building and there were candy wrappers, chip bags, and empty soft drink cans all over the floor? What would you do?" Her immediate reaction was, "Why, I'd pick them up of course." I could tell by the look on her face that as soon as she'd said it, she got to connection. We wouldn't dream of just walking past the junk at church, and since our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) it's just as wrong to allow the junk to build up and clutter things there! It all begins when we open our eyes and allow ourselves to see that it's important to care for that which God has given us and the very temple where His Spirit lives! Not taking the time to care for that temple just doesn't agree with what we say we believe.
Well, I got excited when this thought came to me an I wrote it on the edge of my bulletin so I could blog about it later....that's when my pastor, Dwayne Higgason, started teaching about prayer for 2010. With one of his very first points, my ears perked up! What he was saying seemed to go right along with the random thoughts already turning in my head. Hebrews 12:1 - "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Pastor brought up a point I don't think I've ever seen before...that conjunction 'and'. Most of us think of the weight that holds us back as sin, but in this verse, weight is a separate thing. It is those things from our past that hold us back...regrets, guilt, whatever. Yet some of us, even after we've been set free from our past, reach back and pick up the chains that once held us and carry them as we go. Take a minute and let that word picture sink in. We know we have been set free, yet we still carry the weight. It's time to let it go of the past so we won't miss the moment we have been given! I knew there was something more....I just couldn't quite put my finger on it...till I went for a run this afternoon.
I headed out the door all bundled up against the cold. I had on lined track pants, undershirt, long sleeved t-shirt, fleece jacket, fleece headband....I was still freezing, but I was determined to get in my run. For the first few steps, all that clothing served me well, but by the time I neared the half mile I was unzipping the jacket. As I closed in on the first mile, the jacket HAD to come off. Since it is a nice jacket and I didn't want to lose it, I tied it around my waist. The fleece headband came off, too. Each step of this run seemed to take more energy than I had, and with each step, that seemingly lightweight jacket got hotter and hotter around my waist and felt as if it weighed a ton. I didn't want to toss it aside and take the chance of losing it, so I just tottered along. That which had once served me well was now such a huge burden, but I hated to lay it down for fear it would be gone. That's when I started wondering how many things in my spiritual life have I hung on to fearing if I put them down, I'd lose them. Sometimes, we have to let go and move on trusting God to protect and provide.
Physically, mentally, spiritually - as we face the new year, it's time to look at ourselves, pick up the trash and throw the weight aside. Take care of that which you have been entrusted with. It's a new year...a new decade.... and the possibilities are endless!