The successful runner knows he must strip down to run his best. At any track meet, you’ll see plenty of runners preparing for their races in warm-ups, but they take them off to run. Some athletes even train carrying weights...but they never compete with them. When the writer of Hebrews says to lay aside every “encumbrance,” he uses a Greek word that means...superfluous weight. If we are to run with endurance, we must lay aside any superfluous weight!

Now, in the race of life, what constitutes extra weight? It may be that our excess weight includes some good things, like hobbies, recreational pursuits, or even charitable works. But if we get so caught up in these good things that we lose sight of what is best...they must be laid aside. Other, not-so-good things can be extra weight in our lives. Besetting sin can slow us down. Ignorance can slow us down. So can a victim mentality that excuses us from taking responsibility for our own actions and choices. Procrastination can be extra weight as well. Tomorrow I’ll get right with God. Tomorrow I’ll seek His will. Tomorrow I’ll study His word. And then tomorrow becomes today, and today becomes yesterday, and you’ve missed the race of life!

We are to run our race— the one God has set before us—and run it with endurance. Don’t join the throngs of whiners and quitters who have been worn down by extra weight. For the glory of God in Jesus Christ, run the race!