Have you ever tried to walk forward while dragging extra weight behind you? Sometimes you may even need to turn around to put more strength into it and walk backwards while pulling the extra weight along with you. How can you see where you are going when you are walking backwards or trying to look over your shoulder at the extra weight while simultaneously walking forward? It is difficult, labor intensive, slows down the forward motion and is extremely frustrating.
This is how I see how I see my life. I have been dragging some extra weight around with me while trying to move forward…and its time to lose the weight.
Since January, I have intently sought God in prayer concerning how to prepare for my future, this new life He has prepared for me. As I have written before in my post entitled “Resurrected Desires”, my desires for my future and my purpose have been resurrected but as I see it, the timing has not quite yet arrived to move forward with any great speed. So I have asked God questions like, How can I prepare for the forward journey into my purpose? Where do You need to see progress? What can I do in the physical to get ready for the road ahead? Is there anything you are waiting on me to step forward and do before You can move me forward?
His consistent and resounding answer has been, “Lose weight.”
We see this truth of losing weight in Hebrews 12:1.
“Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance(unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away from all that will distract to Jesus, who is the leader and the source of our faith, giving the first incentive for our belief, and is also its finisher, brining it to maturity and perfection.”
The message translation calls the weight “spiritual fat”. The New Living Translation says, “let us strip off every weight that slows us down.”
Kim Wolinski, a well-known speaker, life coach, and author even goes so far as to say that, “Clutter (weight) will sabotage your spiritual life.” That is a strong connection!
I cannot go forward with any speed until I lose the weight…that is, lose the emotional weight and lose the weight of my physical belongings. How can He propel me into my purpose if I am still carrying weight from my past?
The emotional weight of grief, regrets, past wounds, fears, insecurities…these are weights I have been dragging behind me. Yes, the load has gotten much lighter, but there is still some remaining weight to lose.
Recent research even proves how clutter (weight) in your life affects the brain. Researchers at Yale have actually found that two areas in the brain associated with pain respond when you let go of things you own or things you feel a connection towards. In other words, there is pain associated with letting go of the emotional weight to which I feel a connection and it has begun to clutter my life and slow me down. It drags behind me with each step I take like a ball and chain. The longer I have held onto the weight, the more painful it is to let it go…but I choose to let it go. I choose to cast off the weight. I don’t want to carry this weight around any longer. I want to run the appointed course of my race that is set before me with total freedom.
In the same respect, I need to help my house lose weight. Having too much weight in the house can also hold us back like emotional weight because it becomes a distraction, a time stealer, and can often times be painful to lose the weight just like losing emotional weight. Think of how much time you spend simply maintaining the weight in your house? The weight competes for your attention…and all of the weight is temporal. In order to move forward in our purpose with our eyes straight ahead, we must strive to be more spiritually mindful in all that we do…and for me to be freed up to be more spiritually minded and purpose focused, my house must lose some weight. I would never want the extra weight to sabotage my spiritual life.
I have put my house on a weight management program. I want and need my house and emotional space free of all weight so that creativity can flow, my attention will not be divided, my eyes can focus straight ahead, and my steps will be unhindered, moving forward with purpose and freedom.
I was texting with someone today who is struggling with wanting answers from God of what to do with the rest of his life, direction, and purpose. With his best efforts, he is trying to be still and listen to God’s lead but, as we all know, being still is extremely difficult when we are searching for answers about the journey ahead of us…and we typically want the answer now! He said he felt like “steel being forged in the fire. I know I am lovingly being formed but when is this done?” I have asked this same question of God….Okay God…mercy! Lord have mercy! Is it time to run yet? How much longer must I feel like I am training in boot camp before I can cut loose and run the race that is set before me?
In spite of these questions, I also told him that being still and listening is the best thing you can do. You learn much about yourself, your natural urges and tendencies, and gain a more clear perspective when you are able to force yourself into the self discipline of being silent and waiting on God…but the art is to know when it’s time to wait on God and when its time take action, lose some weight, and move forward in faith.
Because I love to garden, I often think of spiritual matters in terms of gardening. Losing the weight is much like a hard pruning on a rose bush. The more severe the pruning, the more fullness of life there will be, the stronger the new growth will be, and the greater the number of blooms. This is what our life, our journey, our purpose can look like when we lose the weight and prune out everything that is pulling strength from the main limbs…in gardening terms we call them suckers. Emotional weight and physical weight in our surroundings can suck the strength, the stamina, and future growth right out of us by silently distracting us from our purpose.
Even though the weight loss can be painful, I choose to lose the weight so that I can run the appointed course of my race that is set before me with total freedom and, because there is no more weight dragging behind me, I can run with my eyes straight ahead.