By: Ginger Hughes
Our youngest loves to pretend “horses.” This means he holds one end of a rope, and someone who loves him enough to go along with his shenanigans (namely me, his daddy, or a grandparent) holds the other end while he pretends to lead us around like a horse. From the pasture (front yard) to the barn (flower bed) we walk back and forth, back and forth.
Sometimes the “horse” feels brave and pretends to “break free” from the lead and begins to run with wild abandon. Our wanna-be-farmer boy will run after the horse, chasing it down, only to tie the rope on once more.
Recently, we were outside playing some version of this, yet this time my son decided he would be the horse. He held one end of the rope while I pretended to lead him around. He clenched that rope tightly in his little hands for a few moments, then in giddy laughter, dropped the rope, skipping and jumping over it as it fell to the ground, while he ran ahead freely.
That image of the rope falling, my little one laughing hard with his head thrown back, running with all his might, stopped me for a moment. I couldn’t help but think of the scripture in Hebrews 12 where Paul writes, “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.”
What would it look like if we dropped the ropes that entangled us?
I long for that freedom, don’t you? Many of us have been entangled so long we no longer know where to start. We are trapped by the ropes of fear and anxiety, worry and loneliness. We’re pulled down by the ropes of addiction and depression, resentment and bitterness. What about the ropes of unforgiveness, or perfectionism, or even self-righteousness?
Each of us feels entangled by something, often many things. But Scripture says that we should put aside anything that entangles us, as well as any sin that drags us down, and RUN!
Doesn’t this sound wonderful: to lay it all down once and for all, to let all of the striving and worrying fall away, to run freely towards the Author of all things, towards the Perfector of our faith, towards the One who loves us no matter what? Can you feel that joy, that peace, that freedom?
My children keep teaching me things. They help me see things more clearly. Let’s follow their lead, drop the ropes, and run!
-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.