Recently I was pondering the reason for laying aside weights and encumbrances of our lives. Why should we do it? I found a deeper answer than I expected in Hebrews 12:1-2. I sensed a deeper meaning of these familiar words. It’s my personal translation. We are surrounded by a great company of witnesses who have experimental knowledge of the faith that God honors. So let us throw off every weight, burden, and impediment that hinders us from God, because that sin easily entangles us and subjects us to peril and calamity. And let us run publically to win the gold in the race that God marks out for us with constancy toward him and with strenuous effort and patient endurance in character that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, looking away from everything else but him. Let us hold our gaze steadfastly upon him, who is the originator and consummation of our trust, the means of taking what God in Christ has for us, the transformation of our way of life according to his character.
That is a mandate worthy of deep meditation and diligent application. And the Message cheers us on, in shirt-sleeve English. “Live creatively, friends… Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life… Can’t you see the central issue in all this? … It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!” (Gal 6:1,4-5,15 MSG).