Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy[c] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Relate: “I’m just a girl waiting for my prince to come riding into my life on a white horse and save me from this mundane life. I’m waiting for my knight in shining armor, the guy who can show me that happily ever afters really do exist.” In preparation for this post, I was planning to look up some facts on the armor from the medieval age. Instead, this quote popped up right near the top of my feed, attributed to “unknown”. Personally, I don’t think Mr. Unknown is nearly clever as he thinks he is. Far too many things are attributed to him that really were said or written to others and I had a feeling Mr. Unknown wasn’t truly the author of this quote. After all, many of the other things he said make it clear he is a dude, but this definitely sounds more like something a lady would say.
In a brief effort to prove my suspicions right, I put the quote in the search bar and asked Mr. Google to work his magic. After scrolling through the first few pages it was clear that this mystery would not be solved easily and so I gave up. I don’t really care that much about this quote to go digging. Though I might not care for this quote, apparently plenty of girls on dating sites do. Mr. Google told me that there are plenty of girls out there who have put this as their “about me” description on those dating sites. Now I know, when it is time to leave the single life behind all I need do is learn to ride a horse and invest in some high-quality LARP gear.
I do find it amusing how many people tend to romanticize the “elite” soldiers from this era of history. King Arthur’s round table was filled with men of courage and integrity and valor who gallivanted around the countryside slaying dragons, rescuing damsels, and outwitting questioning trolls on bridges. (I prefer to just ignore the trolls that frequently pop up on my river walks) These men feared nothing.
Well, almost nothing. I tend to believe that each and every knight who decked himself up in all those refurbished pots and kettles did actually have one terror in common. I don’t think there was a knight in existence who was not scared of falling off boats or bridges. Think about it. How quickly do you think those clumsy knights who answered the troll wrong will find themselves embedded at the bottom of the river? They don’t stand a chance. The moment their overbalanced accoutrement pulls them into the water they are done for. No chance.
React: The knight’s armor is supposed to make them secure, but really it tends to get in the way. That helmet keeps the head from easily swiveling and severely limits visibility. Those arm braces and shoulder pads hinder a full range of motion for your arms. Beyond this, all that weight will slow its bearer down and quickly wear him out. If you don’t believe me, just ask Sir Vardas Egan. He thought he had that armor-less Bron whipped. But in the end, he was the one falling through the Sky Gate.
Are there things, good things, in my life that hinder my walk with God? Do the very things that I thought were making me strong and self-reliant actually stand in the way of the race God has called me to run? Is the armor I have built around my heart putting me in very real danger of a quick and fatal drowning? What are some things I need to take off that I might trust in God rather than them? Do I need to shed a few pounds?
I want to pursue You. I really do, but sometimes this weight is dragging me down. I don’t want to let go. I don’t want to leave myself unprotected. All too often I don’t even realize how counterproductive my self-reliance is. Help me strip away my security even as I shed off my sin. Both prevent me from seeing You. Both prevent me from running the race You have called me to. In You alone do I trust. After You alone do I chase.