Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that we set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. -- Hebrews 12
I went for a run recently, and it was a liberating event. Quite simply, I felt like I was exorcising demons.
Let me take you back. There was a point in my life about seven years ago that I was exercising regularly and set some pretty high personal goals. Then a little accident happened and I had setbacks in my life. I let things go and I settled into a pattern of poor physical conditioning.
Sometimes when I look back over the past few years, I think I let some negative statements and ideas slowly creep into my spirit. The more that I let them in, the more I believed them. “I can’t” and “you will never again” began to dominate my thinking.
About two months ago, a group of colleagues began to hold one another accountable for improving our physical health. It’s been a great motivation to see others work at making themselves healthier. Walking alongside them, I’ve found motivation to be better in so many different areas of my own life, including the way I conduct myself physically.
So I’ve been running more. Not the fastest kid on the block, but I’m running again. I’ve found motivation from feeling better, sleeping better, worrying less. I’m setting goals and not letting old negatives dominate my thinking -- and weather certainly isn’t going to dictate how I use my time.
On a cold 13-degree day, I set out for a run - in the very place that ended my journey four years ago. I was going to run past the accident site. And it felt good!
Along the way - I let that Hebrews passage jog through my mind. I ran in the cold, I was covered in ice - and it felt great! And when I ran past that place, I tapped the new “jersey barrier” that has been installed there -- tapped it and moved on.
It felt like I had exorcised a demon. I had cast off a very heavy weight that I’d been carrying for a long time. I was running again with perseverance.
So - what’s holding you back? What demons do you need to exorcise in order to get ahead? Is it a financial weight? Professional? Personal? Is that weight literally hanging from your body or is it some act of forgiveness that you need to exercise today?
Whatever you need to lay aside - I believe that you can do it. Maybe it’s through prayer, maybe you need to walk alongside others who are sharing that same struggle. Ask for some help, ask for the encouragement. Get out there and do it, run it off, exercise and exorcise the very thing that you believe is holding you back.
And, oh yeah - look to Jesus along the way - he’s there rooting for you and he endured the cross so that you could move past whatever is in your way.