Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
The contents of my purse once included a sewing kit, a First Aid kit, a Bible, a notebook, pens, cell phone, flashlight, music device and other items. I was taught to always be prepared, and I took this training seriously. Looking back, I can truly say that there had never been a day when I used all of the items, yet I carried them around, ‘just in case.’ I changed my habits after being taught that excess weight can lead to back pain, shoulder pain and sore muscles.
Carrying extra has its place. Five of the ten virgins took the time to pack extra oil and it came in handy. The others who had not planned properly found themselves locked out of the feast. (St Matthew 25:1-13) It is important to make the right call to carry excess or to carry just the basis.
Galatians 6:2 teaches us to share our brothers’ burden as a way of fulfilling the law of Christ. If we are already burdened down, we may not be able to help others in their own struggle. Perhaps by tossing our cares to Christ, we make ourselves available to our brethren, and we in turn can cast that burden to Christ.
The purse I carried was in the natural, but our spiritual lives can also become quite cluttered as we walk around with items we don’t need. This deadweight can wreak havoc on our spiritual health, making it difficult for us to run the race. Getting rid of what we don’t need and fixing our eyes on Jesus will help us manage the unexpected situations. We don’t need to walk around with weight that keeps us bow down and in pain.
Inventory/Introspection: Are there unhealthy physical and/or spiritual habits that I need to stop practising?
Personal Application: While I know it is important to be prepared, it is equally important that I only carry what I need to carry. He has invited me to ‘cast my burdens’ to Him… I will make effort to do just that.
Father, You are all we need! How grateful we are that we don’t need to carry around a bag of items in preparation for what may never happen. You are in charge, and we can trust You to show us what we need to keep and what we need to toss out.
We recognize that being prepared is a good thing. You showed us this in the story of the wise and foolish virgins. We also recognize that fear and mistrust can influence our thoughts and cause us to walk around with baggage that we don’t need. Help us to make the right judgement call for when to stock up, and when to pack light. We desire to run the race, and to hear “well done, My good and faithful servant” (St Matthew 25:23.)
Our brothers and sisters need our help. We cannot help them if we are overburdened. Please help us to cast our cares on You and to use wisdom as we help those around us.
We do not want to carry around anything that does not bring You glory. Teach us to weigh circumstances and make the right decisions.
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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