Throwing Away the Cargo
Hebrews 12.1-2 exhorts us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.”
In Acts 27, Paul is aboard a ship sailing to Italy. The journey involves difficulty (v 7-8) and becomes dangerous (v 9). Paul warns the men of the ship of potential loss, including their lives; however he is ignored (v 10). The conditions continue to worsen. The winds become more violent and turn into a severe storm (v 14). Eventually the men begin to jettison the cargo overboard (v 18-19). The men throw away many things that at one point were valuable. But once lives were in danger, it became a lot easier to distinguish what was truly valuable.
We are running a race of life and we must lay aside the weights and obstacles that will slow us down or even entangle us in the storms of life.
There are many things that will be valuable and important to us, just like the cargo of the ship. We must ensure they are not hindering our relationship with God. We must ensure they are not not taking the place of God in our lives. When we examine our choices and priorities with the lens of eternity, it becomes significantly easier to distinguish what is truly important. The lives of the men of the ship were way more important than possessions. Our souls are way more important than the “weights and sins” of this world.
We are running the race of life and we must lay aside the weights and sins so that we can imitate Jesus.
In Acts 27, the men aboard the ship have a destination. The storm is leading them off track. They jettison the cargo in order to sail “with endurance” to their goal. Even though those items were at once deemed valuable, they could not be kept because they would hinder the goal.
We also have a destination. This world will try to lead us off track. There are many things in this life that are valuable and may not even be sinful; however, we cannot allow anything to hinder our growth of becoming like Jesus. We must have the goal in mind and be “fixing our eyes on Jesus.”
Never forget we are running the race and striving to be more like God. We must run with endurance and throw off the weights that slow us down. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12.1-2).