So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it! Hebrews 12:12-13 MSG
Lest you think this is our own manipulation of the word of God in order to wake everyone up, it’s not. It’s from Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible known as The Message, and what he is trying to capture here, in modern vernacular, is not his own interpretation, but the essence of what is in the original manuscripts. These verses harken back to the opening statement of this chapter which urges us to jettison any excess baggage and run with perseverance the race that is before us. (That would be the race of our lives.)
Other translations of verses 12 and 13 seem to indicate the same passion. The New International Version reads, “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” The New Living Translation says, “take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.” These words are directed at those who are dull or tired, or even lazy. Hebrews 12 was obviously written to combat Boomeritis as well as Millennialitis, Gen X,Y,Zitis or anything else that might slow any of us down in this race.
Just listen to Hebrews 12:1 in The Message version: “It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running — and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.”
What does it mean to finish a race? It means to keep running until you cross the finish line. No stopping short. Most runners actually try to conserve a little bit so they can turn it on at the end. For those of our number who might be approaching the finish line, we want you to finish with a flourish, not be carried across in a La-Z-Boy recliner.
So strengthen those feeble arms and weak knees (one of mine is in a brace) and keep the path clear for other runners. Let’s help each other out here. For those of us who need to get in physical shape our very own Gunnar Simonsen is calling all of us to accept his challenge to join a 12-Step program to get into shape. (More on this later.).
So commit yourself to using your spiritual gift in the body of Christ here at the Catch. We have a list of jobs we need help with. Get involved. Pray for revival. And watch out for those recliners. My son, Christopher has one of those at his home. I’ve noticed that once you settle in to one of those, it’s hard to get out.