Note: It's Throwback Thursday! If you missed it last week, each Thursday I am digging deep in the archives to resurrect a post. We are already beginning to experience humid mornings and summer spiderwebs. That brought to mind this post -- it is one of my favorites.
Have you ever been caught in a spiderweb?
These days I'm wondering if my purpose in life is simply to clear spiderwebs from the sidewalk for people who have the sense to walk later in the morning. I am to the sidewalk what a mine sweeper is to the battlefield. I discharge the enemy's arsenal.
Yesterday, I laced up my shoes while the moon was still patrolling the streets. I crept out of the house and began pounding the walkway on my 4.5 mile trek.
Being "older and wiser" I have developed patterns to avoid irritating spiderwebs and have even invented patented counter measures to escape -- Houdini-like -- from the sticky silk. If I were a runner, perhaps I would dash through the glue line, arms outstretched like an Olympian breaking the tape. But I don't run; I walk. In high school I competed in cross country, though I never cared for running. I still don't! You joggers and runners have my utmost respect, but I digress.
This morning I got caught. I was a big bug in a little web, and I should have known better. I was walking between a hedge to my right and a tree to my left. Knowing that I was approaching a danger zone, I put my arm out in front of me. Picture a walking mummy or a zombie and you'll get the idea. No sooner did I fall into the trap than I immediately applied my counter measures, in this case a reverse twist that would have left any gymnast in awe. It was no use. I was snagged. I resorted to doing the funky chicken in an attempt to break free.
Getting tangled in that web got me thinking about other things that entangle us and keep us from walking God's path. The traps are as numerous as the frames in the spider's web. There are excesses: food, TV, sleep, talking, spending, and media surfing. There are tempters: sexual, financial, religious, social, and occupational. There is incessant noise, ceaseless worry, and lifeless prayer. How do we break free from such a carefully woven web?
The writer of Hebrews must have been a runner. And I would not be surprised if he got caught in a web from time-to-time. He writes:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
The clinging sin to which he refers is apostasy, abandoning Jesus for something else. That is our temptation too, is it not? We get snagged when we think something or someone can take the place of Christ. It can't!
So keep an eye out for that sin which clings so closely to you. And if you get caught, just push it aside, get back on the path, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus -- the founder and perfecter of your faith.