Tripping and Falling on Shoelaces and Sin

I really enjoy running, as long as I’m upright, which until recently was always the case, except for a couple of treacherous trail runs and maybe a winter run or two when the streets were icy and this Troy went a-tumbling. But never had I fallen down on a perfectly dry and smooth road, not until this past Saturday, that is.
Smart people double-knot their shoelaces when running, to prevent them from coming untied and potentially causing them to trip and fall. Attempting to be one of those smart people, I did just that on Saturday, but, ironically, the loops of the laces were still very long and I ended up tripping on them and falling, not once, but twice, early in my seven-mile run. (Interesting side note: After the fact, my wife explained to me how she always thought my shoelaces were too long. That was a great point, if not shared soon enough to keep me on my feet.)
It’s a terrible, almost frightening feeling to fall and know that you can’t prevent yourself from hitting the ground. Thankfully, I was not seriously injured. I scraped my knee and would have ripped up the palm of my hand, had my glove not taken on said ripping. The worst of it was the extreme muscle soreness that resulted from catching myself when I landed on the street. It’s been several days since I fell, and it would still be difficult to manage even one pushup. This whole experience reminds me of the first couple of verses in Hebrews chapter 12:
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. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
What happened when I stepped on one of my own shoelaces? I fell down and hurt myself. What happens when I “step on” the sin in my life that I allow to remain and trip me up? I fall down and hurt myself spiritually. In those verses, the “sin that so easily entangles” carries the idea of a loosely fitting garment by which a runner becomes entangled and tripped up. Of course, in my case, it was a shoelace, but the idea is the same. In fact, a more paraphrased version of the Hebrews verse reads, “the sin that so easily trips us up.”
As you might imagine, I’m now being much more careful about tying my laces in a way that keeps them well above the ground and prevents me from tripping on them. However, I need to be even more careful when it comes to “the sin that so easily entangles,” because tripping and falling on my walk with Jesus has far worse consequences than even the most intense physical wounds caused by falling down on a run. I’m back on my feet and God willing, I’ll stay there.
Troy Burns