Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.  Hebrews 12:1-2 (MSG)

I am not a jogger. As a matter of fact I have been known to say that if you see me running you should run too because it means something is chasing me. Seriously.

Reading this text I imagined what it would look like to see someone jogging wearing heavy boots, a big thick coat, baggy, cumbersome pants, a large floppy hat obstructing their view and a heavy piece of luggage in their arms.  No one would intentionally run like that. When you see runners, they are stripped down wearing as little as possible so they can move freely, be quick and nimble. They want to be able to make as much progress as possible with little effort.

Shouldn't our spiritual races be the same? In this journey we are on, are we weighted down with baggage? Are there things we do that keep us rooted in place like a pair of too-heavy boots? Do we have blinders on that keep us from seeing the course clearly? If we are running the race that God has planned for us, wouldn't we want to be able to respond quickly, move freely and make progress?

The Bible says the only way to get rid of what weighs us down is to keep our eyes on Jesus. He never lost sight of where he was headed.  Neither should we.  So today, focus on Jesus. Strip off all those heavy weights you are carrying around. Put on your best running shoes and take off!  Keep running. Don't give up.