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. 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.
Let me start by saying that I am so priviledged to be back hanging out with high school students because I come away so blessed and challenged EVERY time. Our theme this year is "Amazing Race" and to begin, we are taking inventory on where we at in our race; going up a hill? at a water stand? bending over to tie our shoe for the 10th time because we are lazy and don't want to push through a side ache?
Our theme verse of this year is Hebrews 12:1-2 and tonight we honed in on the verses about the sin that so easily entangles us, slowing us down on our race to the prize. It is like we carry sin around like bricks on our backs, weighing us down and keeping us from running hard.
Laura had actually taken a stack of bricks, written different sins on them: envy, lust, lying, rage, cheating. etc. & asked a student to pack his backpack with the bricks that he believes he is carrying as we all thought about what our bricks are. I was so struck by the simple picture when he then unpacked his bag and laid those bricks at the foot of the cross, lightening his load and allowing him to freely live. How come I want to pick those bricks back up and carry them when I can leave them there?
This week caused me a lot of self reflection after realizing that alot of the process through this time of transition for Ryan and I has been going on in my head and not in community. I hurt a dear friend by my lack of transparency this week and by trying to manage my load on my own. In realizing it, I practiced alot of unloading of the backpack daily this week, sometimes over the SAME issues of envy, control, gossip, but truly trusting that I cannot carry them on my own. None of us can.
What are your bricks? Give them to the cross and together lets be amazed at the journey He takes us on.
I run the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free