I give up. I’m through. I’m done. Finished! I QUIT!
Once again we are on the dawn of a brand new year. A new beginning of sorts. A time where people fabricate resolutions about how their year will be better than the last.
Some will decide to eat better. Others will determine to learn some new skill. To-do lists will get longer and longer as our momentary resolve strengthens.
Instead of coming up with a list of new things to do or accomplish it may be better to work on a “to don’t” list. Things that you will strip off and leave behind. Stuff that you will quit! I am all for doing new things but sometimes we add so many new things that our heads begin to spin and after a few days of juggling our new aspirations we collapse in a heap of resolutions and good intentions.
Instead of adding something, maybe it is time to take something away.
[quote]Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us.[/quote]
Since I love backpacking I tend to think about life in terms of being on a journey on the Appalachian Trail. I have always wanted to hike the full 2,180 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine. The journey takes around six months if you are able to complete it. Of the 2,000+ people who attempt it every years only about 200 will actually make it. I hope someday to be one of those that makes it.
The first hundred miles of the Appalachian Trail have often been called “The Graveyard.” The reason? Because many people who start the hike soon realize that they are carrying WAY too much. That spare tent that seemed like such a good idea for emergencies soon gets discarded. That deck of playing cards you thought you would use to pass the time gets chucked out. That nice long toothbrush you brought a long…soon gets cut in half and the unused end tossed away. This is all dead weight. And it is NOT needed.
When I began backpacking I would travel with around 45 pounds of gear on my poor back. Several years and hundreds of miles later my backpack in now down to around 20 pounds. What difference does this make? I can travel further faster and with far less fatigue.
Ever single thing that I carry has been evaluated and tested. I even went so far as to design and sew my own backpack to shed excess weight. If you looked in my pack and picked up even the most insignificant object I could tell you exactly why that is in my pack and why I chose it over an alternative one. I can tell you exactly why I carry a sheet of Tyvek, half of a chamois, why one spoon is my only utensil and my only cookware is a small titanium tea kettle.
This is how we should live our lives. Continually evaluating and eliminating baggage. Stripping away the things that hold us back. Sin is an obvious thing that should be left behind. Lying. Coveting. Gluttony. Drunkenness. Taking the Lord’s name in vain. These are obvious things.
However Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to strip away ANYTHING that holds us back. What is holding you back? Maybe it’s not a sin. Maybe it even seems good, but if you are honest it is keeping you back from running the race that God has set out for us.
Imagine running a race and trying to carry a backpack of pots and pans. That would be insane. Those things need to be left behind.
Perhaps you need to leave behind a relationship that always drags you down. A job that is holding you back. Maybe it is literal stuff…clutter in your home that is holding you back. Is there emotional baggage that you can’t seem to shake? Habits that need to be given up. Maybe it is simply giving up some time and money to help those in need.
It’s time to let go. Give it up. Leave it in the dust!