One Ounce At A Time

Marty HikeMy brother-in-law Marty is an outdoor sports enthusiast. Along with endurance running, he has hiked 148+ miles of the Appalachian Trail that begins at Springer Mountain, Georgia and ends 2200 miles north at Mount Katahdin, Maine.

We were discussing his hiking adventures and I asked him about his backpack; how he packed it and what all he took with him on these overnight trail hikes. I’ve seen his backpack loaded up and I was curious about the amount of difficulty there was for carrying such a bulky item for such a long and dangerous trek. He told me it was all about weight. Every single ounce matters.

kitchen sinkThere were a lot of different things he did to remove weight from his pack. Some of those things included removing the one ounce tags from his clothing and taking only lightweight synthetic materials; no cotton. His food was dehydrated to remove the water weight. His pack included a special sleeping bag, cooking utensils, water filters, etc. all of these items chosen with one thing in mind; less ounces. Marty learned, that if you can remove an ounce here and an ounce there, before you know it, you have removed 16 of them and a whole pound is gone!

This has such a good application spiritually!

Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us to lay aside every weight (and sin) that hinders us. Until recently, I’ve always looked at this verse and imagined myself weighed down by this huge rock hung about my neck, causing me to stumble because my center of balance was off. I consider the enormous task of removing all of this sin that is compacted together, constantly reevaluating my spirituality because it was taking me such a long time to accomplish this task.

Not anymore.

boulderYou rarely trip over a boulder. Most of the time, what causes us to stumble is an unobtrusive divot or a small stone we overlooked in our path. It is the little things that will get us every time!

tripGod is about the little things, the internal things. Read Matthew 23 and see what I mean. The scribes and Pharisees forgot about the small things… the internal things and focused only on the outside. Verse 24 sums up the chapter pretty well. “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!”

God is about building a foundation on the truth; a rock foundation that has been built well (Luke 6:46-49). Take 2 Peter 1:5-8 for example. We are to grow in faith, then build upon that faith virtue. As we continue to grow in faith and virtue, we add knowledge. With knowledge (faith and virtue) we need self control! As we continue to grow in all of these, we must add patience with godliness and all of this is effectively worthless without brotherly affection and love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Putting off is no different than putting on! weight

Removing the entire weight all at once is such a monumental task, maybe we should attempt removing this sin that so easily besets us, an ounce at a time!

God Bless

Max Gaskins

Fairview Church of Christ


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