I have spent most of my adult life enjoying the rhythm of life that circles around a school calendar. You know, two weeks off at Christmas, a week off at Easter and a relaxed pace during the summer.
Each year, as summer draws to a close, I begin to get focused on “the new year.” Resolutions happen, schedules are set, and new disciplines are put into place. I get “serious” about life again.
And this year, I have given some thought to the “sin that does so easily entangles us” (Heb. 12:1-2). In that passage, the writer of Hebrews is drawing our attention to the sin(s) that just seem to get repeated so easily. We might even refer to them as “pet sins.”
The problem with a well-worn path that leads to the same spiritual “trip up” is that we can too readily get caught in a deep rut. That mistake or tendency can easily become our “Achilles Heel.”
As you may know, in Greek mythology, Achilles was a man of war. But when he was a baby, his mother, Thetis took him to the magical river Styx. Supposedly those waters made people powerful. So, Achilles‘ mom grasped him by his heel and dipped his body into that special river.
Unfortunately, since his heel didn’t get completely covered by the water, he had a place of susceptibility. He didn’t realize it, but his heel was his point of vulnerability. And ultimately Achilles was pierced by a poisoned arrow shot into his heel and he died.
So, during this next week or so maybe we all should take some time for some meaningful personal inventory. Where are we vulnerable to the wiles of our enemy? What poor choices seem to be rearing their ugly head too often? What attitudes are tripping us up with regularity? What are we dealing with on a consistent basis?
Once we have it (or them) identified, let’s all repent quickly and put some guards in place to keep ourselves out of that rut. Let’s put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6) and make sure our Achilles Heel is covered by the grace and mercy of our kind Savior.
This time of year, we get new back packs, lunch boxes, pencils and pens. So, let’s make sure we also appropriate a ton of new grace in order to ignore the well-known appeal of certain sins. Let’s tell ourselves “NO” to those habits or behaviors that we know don’t please the Lord and instead start the new year of with our minds set on HIM!