Athlete, Shed Entanglements
Jonathan Van Horn
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
I was out running one afternoon, enjoying the sun, music in my ears, when I saw a guy coming toward me. From what I could tell about him at first, there was nothing too out of the ordinary.
However, as he got closer and our paths were about to cross, I noticed something interesting — he had weights on his ankles and wrists. It was an interesting look to say the least. He was going at a slower pace, but why the weights? What was the purpose?
A little laughter, as well as thoughts and questions ran through my head: Does that really work? What’s the point of those weights? Do they cause injury? Are they really necessary? And so on …
Athlete, how are you running today? Do you have weights attached to your soul, holding you back, limiting your pace and impact? The author of Hebrews says to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
To run free, we need to lay off, get rid of and detach the weights that hold us back — those sins that cling to us and limit or even prevent us from running toward the prize of Christ. Like the runner who intentionally added those weights to his body, what weights have you put on yourself? What does it look like for you to run with endurance and lay aside the weight and sin that can cling so closely?
The second part of today’s Scripture gives clarity about what this takes: “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus gives us the strength to lay every weight and sin aside. How will you lay aside the weight and sin that so easily clings to you?
Jonathan Van Horn is author of “SHIFT: The Athlete’s Playbook 5 Proven Steps to Life After Sport.” He assists athletes through successful transitions in sport and life. You can hear stories and learn more about SHIFT on The SHIFT Podcast on iTunes and Spotify as well as online at theshiftcourse.com.