First Presbyterian Church

Lightening Up

God’s grace and peace to you this morning!

Many, many years ago, Art and I owned an old Porsche 356.  It was in our “before children” days. We joined with some other Porsche owners to do a “hill climb race” . It was a one-car-at-a-time race and it was run backwards on a track so that the race was all-uphill. The object was to get the best time up the hill. It was our very first event and getting there was quite and adventure; but that is another story.   What I remember about that race was that after we got to the track people started taking EVERYTHING out of their cars, any tools in the trunk, any papers in the glove compartment, even the floor mats! I could not believe it! There was stuff lying on the ground that came out of car that I had no idea we even owned. Of course the reason behind getting all this stuff out was to make the car lighter so that by carrying less weight all the car’s power could be directed toward obtaining the goal – a fast time up the hill.

As I think about that I think about all the extra stuff we carry with us through life that bogs us down along our journey. And in our spiritual life we carry lots of extra burdens that God never intended us to carry. We carry things that just weigh us down and keep us slugging to reach the top of the hill. We carry guilt and shame rather than release it, mainly because it feels like a fit and we have carried it so long that to lose it would feel odd – like losing the floor mats from inside your car. We carry burdens that do not even belong to us – burdens placed on us by others, burdens we have taken on because nobody else would– maybe like all that stuff that gets piled up in the trunk over time.

Sometimes we need to look closely at what we are carrying. What is slowing us down in our journey towards God? If we piled up all that stuff along the side of the road, would it surprise you to see what was there? Would there be things you did not even know you were carrying?

Look at the runners, watch the Tour de France bicycle race – see how little they carry with them? Summer is a good time for “lightening up” and “airing out” a lot of the baggage we tend to hold onto. Spend some time asking God if there are things you need to let go of – even if you have carried them all your life. God can carry much more than we can without slowing God’s pace at all. Wouldn’t it feel great to head up the hill again with a little less to carry?

In God’s great grace,

Pastor Judy


Hebrews 12: 1-2a “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. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (NIV)