So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter (Hebrews 12:1-2a CEB).
As we consider the influence that other saints have had on our own lives, let us also think about the legacy that WE will be leaving as we live day to day in the middle of our muddles. Our key verse in Hebrews this morning encourages us to keep running that race—toward the finish line—don’t trip up—throw off ANYTHING that can slow us down.
In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan gives an analogy on how to love God more—pursue God—and going for a run. “Imagine going for a run while eating a box of Twinkies. Besides being self-defeating and sideache-inducing, it would also be near impossible—you would have to stop running in order to eat the Twinkies.
“In the same way, you have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin. When you are pursuing love, running toward Christ, you do not have opportunity to wonder, Am I doing this right? . . . When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt, worry, or fear. As long as you are running, you are safe.” (Francis Chan, Crazy Love)
Chan is giving us a humorous example of what the author of Hebrews is saying—put down the Twinkies and think more about the finish line—our LORD Jesus Christ is there waiting for us to cross it. We all know that Twinkies are not healthy; I have found expired Twinkies that taste just the same as those that are supposedly “in the safe zone.” So why do we eat them? Well, that is the problem with ANYTHING that takes our eyes off the prize. Twinkies are attractive. Sin can attract. But the pleasure is temporary, and it not only can keep us from running the race, it can be dangerous.