FIRST GLIMPSE: Bonus Bag
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The bright placard above the preferred flavor (chicken and lamb) of Ginger the Bassett Hound and Wrigley the rascal immediately caught my eye. “What a great buy!” I thought to myself, picturing Wrigley’s entire body “wagging” with excitement when I walked through the backyard gate. I couldn’t help but smile.
Stepping to the rack, I muscled the 56-pound bag onto the sturdy pushcart provided by our local warehouse superstore. After completing my purchases, I headed for the parking lot.
As I crammed the enormous bag of food into the backseat of my tiny Scion, I glanced down at the 56-pound label one more time. The thought suddenly hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks: 56 pounds...the exact amount I had lost after an 18-month weight loss journey.
I stepped back in amazement, shaking my head at the bulky bag. “No wonder my knees were hurting,” I muttered as I returned the cart to the stall.
Later, during my afternoon run,
my mind returned to that “bonus bag” I no longer carry around my middle. I couldn’t help but think of the familiar passage in Hebrews 12:1-2, where the writer describes “running the race” of our Christian life, urging readers to lay aside "weight and sin."
What is this weight we must lay aside? Anything—even good things like family or ministry—that comes before God in our lives. So often, we allow small things, from ministry responsibilities or bad habits to damaged relationships, to become weights in our lives. Even small weights accumulated over a long period of time gradually push God out of first place and make us spiritually bulky, weighing us down and keeping us from the best the Savior has for us.
How do we fight this spiritual “battle of the bulge”?
Spend time daily alone with God in Bible study and prayer, carefully tending our relationship with Him. “Laying aside the weight” is not a one-time quick fix. It should be a daily, lifelong discipline. Easy? No. Crucial? Without doubt.
Prayerfully repent of any unconfessed sin and let the Savior wash away our guilt.
Align priorities carefully with the Word of God from home to work to church.
Leave time to listen for His voice. We should never become so busy we cannot observe the biblical command, “Be still and know I am God.” Unplug the television, turn off the computer, and hide your phone. Then listen for that still, small voice.
Let go of the weight and let God lighten your load.
About the Columnist: Eric K. Thomsen has been managing editor of ONE Magazine since the publication began in 2005. The former art and marketing director for Randall House Publications, he has served as president of the Evangelical Press Association and is a member of the Free Will Baptist Historical Commission. Eric and his wife Jennifer attend Bethel Free Will Baptist Church near Ashland City, Tennessee, where he serves as music director.