Spiritually speaking, I run a marathon. There are no flashy running shoes and I am really out of shape. Perspiration streams down the curvature of my back, my calves cramp and I advance at tortoise-like speed. Onlookers try to cheer me on but the going gets tougher.
And then I remember my backpack. It's weighted down with far more than I can safely carry. I really thought I needed it for success but I was wrong. Despite its promise of fulfillment, it seems that lightening my load might make more sense.
I am on a pilgrimage to free myself from "stuff" but I assure you my toes are barely wet. And I don’t want to over-spiritualize because there are a thousand good things that come from a clean-out. For awhile it’s kind of fun. It gives me a sense of control and freedom. But then He taps that tender spot – the one I hold tightly in clenched fists... the “surely not this one, Lord! “ Yet there is His finger. Do I truly want to “throw off everything that hinders” so I can run this race? This is a question I must answer..
Jen Hatmaker says in her book The 7 Experiment:
"Until God asks for everything and we answer, “It’s Yours”, we don’t yet have ears to hear or eyes to see. We’re still deaf to the truth, blind to freedom and deceived by the treasures of the world, imagining them to be the key when they are actually the lock."
There are a few caveats though to this shedding manifesto. The worm of pride inches its way into my heart oh so subtly as I congratulate myself for the sacrifice. My heart must be cleaned out like the other areas in which I reside. And nature abhors a vacuum, so emptying eventually tempts me to refill. Consumerism is an insidious disease.
So how do I stay on course, unencumbered with eyes on the prize when my resolve fades so quickly? My pastor said recently: “Each day we awaken to our default mode so daily we must upload the Gospel update.” Mind renewal for the journey.