Regular and long-suffering readers of the humble ramblings know that I have an oddly wired brain. My thoughts do not flow along orderly paths like most of you. So it will come as no surprise that while taking some pictures of pampered pooch Hannah yesterday I thought of a scriptural truth. Hannah was swimming and I decided to try and capture her spectacular water “shake-offs” with my digital camera. The results were not too bad.

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This photo brought a verse from Hebrews to mind.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…

Hannah has definitely learned how to throw off the water that hinders her when she climbs out of the pool. I loved the imagery of getting up and shaking off all of the things (even some good things) that hinder me from being an effective representative of Jesus. Recently I heard my friend Blake Flickner speak about this very passage. Coach Blake is the Head Basketball Coach at Dallas Baptist University here in Dallas. He is doing a phenomenal job as a coach and as a discipler of these young men. I highly recommend you check out a game if you live in the DFW area. Blake noted that the writer made the point that is not only sin that entangles us. That is what we tend to dwell on. The verse says to throw off any weight or encumbrance to our being effective for Christ. So that good thing that is not the best thing may need to be “shaken-off” for us to be used most effectively for God. Here is the rest of the passage.

…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12, NIV)

Most of us need to do a better job of staying focused on what matters. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus. Don’t lose heart. And follow the advice of Miss Hannah when you face anything that would weigh you down.

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Shake it off!

Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com.