“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12: 1-4
While looking for something I had carefully put away so that it wouldn’t get lost, I realized that I forgot where I had put it. As I went through drawers and closets, unopened in no telling how long, I was amazed at what I found, most of it filled with the unwanted and unneeded, some of it even unopened, I came to the conclusion that we were just “over stuffed” with needless stuff everywhere.
I have just finished reading my third book on the adventures of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton’s 1914-17 expedition to Antarctica. It is fascinating. It was one of the greatest survival stories of all time. When he advertised for recruiting twenty six crew members, more than five thousand applied, notwithstanding the fact that the advertisement read, “chances of survival slim.”
Perhaps you remember the story. They sailed from Buenos Aries on the Endurance across to the Wendell Sea. Endurance became trapped in ice and was eventually crushed by the expansion of thousands of tons of ice. The crew was faced with spending the winter on the ice and then sailing lifeboats to Elephant Island and ultimately to South Georgia. It was one of the greatest tests of human survival ever and under Shackleton’s leadership, all survived.
The scene in the movie was so vivid when they salvaged what they could from the endurance and set out towing sledges across the ice. They needed everything they needed to survive. They could not afford to take anything that was not necessary for survival. Shackleton took gold coins out of his pocket and threw them in the snow, as an example for others to follow. He said that if they made it out safely, they would not need things like that and if they didn’t, they would be of no value.
There’s a spiritual parallel here. The writer of Hebrews 12 tells us: 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
What are you holding onto that bogs you down and hinders you in your walk of faith? What ultimately meaningless “stuff” are you hoarding that holds you back in your spiritual growth? Whatever it is, get rid of it so that your life may be full and your spiritual walk unburdened with the things of this earth?
by John Grant
Used by Permission
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney
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