Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Faith Of Our Fathers"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (NIV)
I had walked up to the main house to start the wood stove, as my family was away and the temperature was quickly dropping. As I turned the handle of the back door, preparing to go into the porch and bring in a load of kindling, I heard a strange hissing noise, like some huge snake announcing its presence. Startled, I paused and turned around, trying to discern the location of the noise.
It seemed to be coming from under the stairs where the hot water and pressure tank were. Walking over, I suddenly realized that I was treading through water. Oh no! I thought. What has happened? Removing the screen that the tanks stood behind, cold water hit me in the face and continued shooting everywhere.
Quickly, I called my daughter's cellphone number, and my son-in-law instructed me to throw the breakers for the well pump, the pressure tank, and the hot water tank. The spraying water ceased.
Shortly thereafter, a friend who had been contacted arrived to help sort out the problem. The cold-water pipe had broken where it came up through the floor from the basement. Consequently, the spraying resulted from all this energy being diverted from its proper course through the pipe into my face and the surrounding area. Providentially, I had arrived at the house within moments of the pipe's breaking, which prevented a major flooding catastrophe.
As I considered this incident and all that unregulated energy flow, I contemplated how my own energy is directed and put to use every day. How much of it is channelled for Christ and His kingdom, and how much of it is simply being sprayed about in purposeless diversions? These are not diversions that we would term sinful, but they are diversions all the same, and they allow me to procrastinate in doing all that I could be doing in regard to running my race diligently for Christ.
I put off making that phone call, or typing that email, or sending that card that I know I should. I put off spending time in prayer or writing or visiting that friend because I have become entangled in a novel or that new television series. I decide not to go church as I have other things that I would rather do that may be more exciting. I choose not to speak up for right when opportunity asserts itself because I am afraid or simply don't want to place myself in the light of criticism or condemnation.
There are so many little things that entangle me and pull me back from running as diligently as I could for Jesus — things that hinder me, and sin that I may not even recognize. These things I pray that God will empower me to want to throw off, so that I might run with perseverance the race marked out for me — not just some days, but every day.
How about you? Where is your energy going to be directed today?
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the energy with which You bless each and every one of us. Empower us today to be successful in allowing You to direct it toward the works of Your kingdom. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.