I have been thinking a lot about this lately. As I mentioned in my previous post I am attempting a "new beginning" with exercise and diet. In the past two weeks I have lost 9 lbs and I am beyond thrilled with that number. I started thinking yesterday about the weight and how, as I have gained it, it has hindered me from doing things and made things uncomfortable. If I were to fly right now, I would probably be downright uncomfortable in the seat. I went to an Atlanta Braves game a few weeks ago- the seats were a tad uncomfortable and tight. Having lost weight before it's amazing the difference in life's day to day living it makes. And yet, I continued to let myself eat and become lazy and gained all the weight back. I didn't run that race with perseverance. I didn't endure...
So, then I started thinking about the verse and what it means to me and I came across the above picture in my memory. This is a picture at Delphi where they used to run the races. One of the "stories" (aka history lessons) they gave us was that back in the biblical times- when they ran the races the Greeks often ran them naked (or very close to that point) in order to not have anything hindering them from running a race well.
In my personal journey I keep hearing over and over - it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Simply put- it's not going to be quick and easy. It's going to be something that is going to tax me, use all that I have to complete the race, it's something to be trained for, to work toward, and to keep our eye on the goal. The Christian life is never going to be easy and I pray that I can identify those sins which weigh me down/burden me and lay them aside so I can run this race with perseverance.
A little something to leave you with-
Charles Spurgeon once commented on this passage:
"In those games, those who ran and wrestled wore very little clothing, or often nothing at all. A runner might lose the race through being entangled by his scarf, so he laid aside everything that might hinder or hamper him. Oh, for that blessed consecration to our heavenly calling, by which everything that would hinder us shall be put aside, that we may give ourselves, disentangled, to the great gospel to race!" (source)