When I was a teenager I wanted to be a cheerleader.  My father didn’t feel it would be right for me and forbid me to try out. I was so upset! I went crying to my mother about it and she told me to go ahead and try out without telling my dad, then if I made the team, we would deal with it when the time came.  (Yeah, she didn’t win any parent-of-the-year awards for that one!)

 The try-outs were held over the course of 2 weeks and during that time I did my best not to engage in a lot of conversation with my dad.  I was afraid that somehow I would expose myself if I talked too much.  So I avoided him as much as possible and made sure I figured out how to get to and from practices without involving him.

I was thrilled when I made it to the final try-out.  One more to go and I’d get to wear the cute outfit and hang out with the football players! On the day of the final round I had to call home to let my mom know that I’d be late.  I went to the pay phone – yes, the pay phone, put in my DIME (that’s how old I am!) and dialed my house.

To my horror, my DAD answered!!  That’s when things began to unravel. First, I asked if my mom was there but she wasn’t.  Uugh!  So, I told him that I needed to stay late.

And then he asked why.

I had to tell him.  I couldn’t lie. He was upset. I blamed my mom, of course. He told me to go to the last try-out and then we would talk.  So with red puffy eyes I went and gave probably the lamest effort they had ever seen and consequently did not make the team.

In the beginning of this week I talked about throwing off the things that slow us down so that we can run our race unencumbered.  The resolution to LIGHTEN UP was inspired by the commission in Hebrews 12:1, but there is a second part of that verse that we must not ignore.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

God has set guidelines for us. They are found in the Bible.  He instructs us in His ways for our protection.  He is not trying to suck the fun out of our lives.  When we are tempted to go around His instruction we are on dangerous ground. The farther we get from communication with Him, the easier it is to rationalize that what we are doing is ok.  We must not avoid talking to our heavenly Father.  If our communication with Him is broken it becomes harder and harder to hear His voice. Lines become blurred and before we know it, sin trips us up.  It’s that easy.

Thankfully, His grace is endless and sufficient.  No matter how far we are He is waiting with open arms, ready to pick us up and set us on our course again.  But wouldn’t it be great if we could avoid the detour altogether?!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Next week: Resolve Week 3 – REFUSE TO SETTLE