July 22, 2020

I just set up a Japanese Beetle trap. It’s been sitting, wrapped in its original package for several weeks, and more important tasks kept cropping up. But today I needed fresh air, sunshine, and a task that I could complete without any complications, as a counterweight to all the things that are out of my control. Surely this trap will catch those Japanese Beetles so they don’t eat my plants!

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The trap is up, and although the “real feel” temperature in the shade was in triple digits, a little bit of perspiration was a small price to pay for the sense of satisfaction. The directions on the package included how to install the snare, which I hope is irresistible to the beetles.

As I was working on it, the word snare reminded me of Hebrews 12:1, which in the New King James translation says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

It is interesting that the words “weight” and “sin” are put together as things that trap us, or stick to us, or keep us from running freely and efficiently. When I was in high school, I took two consecutive courses to be certified as both a lifeguard and water safety instructor. One of the hardest assignments in both courses was the day that we had to jump into deep water fully dressed including shoes and coats (with swimsuits underneath), and try to swim. The weight of the things we took for granted, and hardly even felt became dangerous hindrances for survival in the pool. As we took off coats, shoes, etc., we became more buoyant, and able to safely complete the assignment. Of course, our classmates, and our instructors were waiting at the side of the pool to cheer us on, and to help us if we started to go down.

There are so many things that can weight us down, not the least of which are guilt and regret about yesterday, and worry and anxiety about tomorrow. These are heavy times, and one of the best ways I know to lose that kind of weight it to sit quietly in prayer, breathe out the weight of our cares and concerns as they come into our minds and hearts, and breathe in the love of God. And remember, that great cloud of witnesses is cheering us on, like my classmates and instructors.

Breathing out the weight of the world, breathing in the lightness of grace. ~ Anne

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