Some time ago, down on Lake Isabella, located in the high desert, an hour east of Bakersfield, California, some folks, new to boating, were having a problem. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get their brand new 22 foot Bayliner to perform in the water. It was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power was applied.
After about an hour of trying to make it go, they steered it to a nearby marina, thinking someone there could tell them what was wrong. A thorough topside check revealed everything was in perfect working condition. The engine ran fine, the outdrive went up and down, the prop was the correct size and pitch.
So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath. He came up choking on water, he was laughing so hard. NOW REMEMBER THIS IS SUPPOSEDLY TRUE....under the boat, still strapped securely in place, was the trailer!
Can you imagine the scene under the boat when the marina guy first saw the trailer? How in the world, I'm sure he thought, could ANYONE think you can maneuver a boat with the trailer still attached? Are people crazy or what??
Truth is, though, that millions of people do exactly this every day in their personal lives! In particular, many people of faith try to live a renewed life while tenaciously clinging on to old sins and and bad habits. Maneuvering our lives is hard enough, but maneuvering our lives as God wants is impossible when we don't get rid of those things that hinder our obedience to His commands!
"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." (1 Peter 2:11) That's what all of us experience: a daily struggle! Life is no friend to faith, and it tests our inner selves to see what we're really made of. That's why we cannot allow anything to make things more difficult for us. As the trailer in the story prevented the boat from handling like it was created to handle, so our sins and bad habits prevent us from being all God wants us to be!
This week, pay close attention to the "boat of your life." Are there attachments and sins that make living your faith more difficult? Repent of the sins God shows you and get rid of the unhelpful attachments. Look to God for wisdom and help living your faith in public and private moments. As you pray daily, ask God to unstrap every "trailer" that would slow you down, keep you from maneuvering wherever God wants, or keep you from being what God wants. This COULD be the week when you really start to spiritually "glide!"