"Let us throw off everything that hinders...."
If I read that right, that means we are to:
1. "*THROW* off the hindrances."
Not just set them aside or hide them where we can reach them when we want, or rearrange them on our desk. We need to remove them as far from us as we can. THROW 'em!
2. "Throw off *ALL* the hindrances."
EVERYTHING that hinders. I pray that God would scour my life with his spotlight and reveal anything and everything that would keep me from running the race. I don't just want to get rid of the obvious and onerous things, but everything that could possibly slow me down. EVERYTHING.
3. "Throw off everything that *HINDERS*."
That's the word that really gripped me. We're not just called to get rid of the sin (that so easily entangles), but anything that even hinders us in any way from being the men of God He designed us to be. Just because it's not sinful doesn't mean that it doesn't have to go.
I watched an interesting scientific documentary last night for a half hour or so. At one point in the show they went to a golf ball factory in which a golf ball hitting machine demonstrated the difference between a smooth golf ball and a dimpled one. The two balls were identical in all ways except for the dimples. The one that had all those little craters in it went TWICE as far as the smooth one. I won't bore you with the aerodynamic principles, but what struck me was that in order to make a champion ball, the golf ball maker had to painstakingly scrape out every little hindrance that would hold that ball back.
My prayer is that God would not stop with just removing the sin from our lives but that He would make us golf balls: that He would carve out everything that would impede our flight. And I realized that it may not be one or two major amputations, but perhaps instead just several dozen "little" things.
Lord, reveal to me every hindrance that has to go!