So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Hebrews 12:1b (TEV)
When Jesus tells us to break with our old existence, his command is not arbitrary or random. You could say it is meant to make us small enough to fit through the narrow gate that leads to the kingdom of heaven. Imagine trying to go down a narrow path and then through a narrow gate wearing a backpack overstuffed with heavy regrets from your past and superficial distractions from the present.
You’d end up exhausted and frustrated as your backpack and the things spilling out of it kept getting snagged on the narrow sides of the path. You’d begin to see many of the things you carried were a hindrance rather than a help and one-by-one you’d start tossing them aside.
How would you feel when you got to the end of the path and found out the only way you could fit through the gate was to leave behind everything you still had with you, even your backpack? So you reluctantly throw it off and head through the gate only to discover that everything you’d been carrying, everything you’d been so reluctant to leave behind, will be useless in your new life in the kingdom of heaven.
Inside the kingdom of heaven, you realize you’ve made your journey more difficult than it had to be simply because you kept trying to hold on to things that were impossible to keep. This is why Jim Elliot, who was killed while attempting to evangelize the Waodani people in Ecuador, wrote, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Think Small and Travel Light by Jon Walker is a post from: GraceCreates
Jon Walker is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ and Growing with Purpose.
He has served on staff at Saddleback Church and Purpose Driven Ministries and is currently the managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotionals and the Ministry Toolbox. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.