Those who travel internationally know that you can’t even count on two free pieces of luggage anymore. After 50 pounds, every pound will cost you. Those extra pounds actually cost you when you’re running a marathon as well. If you’re 10 pounds overweight, it’s just like putting a bowling ball in a back pack and hauling it for 26 miles. No thanks! Even the weight of an extra sweatshirt, especially when drenched with sweat, will slow and weigh you down.
|Clothing shed by runners lays near the second mile of the course during the
New York City Marathon Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
The comparisons are readily apparent. The writer of Hebrews knows that the race of life is demanding, and extra weight of any kind will cost us something. I know that my own Christian race often finds me carrying weight that only slows me down. Here’s the thing that stands out more to me now. In the first few miles of the long race, I don’t get as tired or tripped up or weighed down by the excess baggage. It’s not that I should allow myself to carry that sin, but somehow I’m able to keep running — but not later in the race. So many people quit later in their Christian race simply because they did not cast off the weight early on. That sinful habit, left unchecked with no one holding us accountable becomes a burden too heavy to bear, and some abandon the faith altogether. I recognize that not all weights are easily cast off, but carrying that sin into the harder part of the race, the later years of life, just won’t do.