Out shopping the other day I happened upon an Ironman Triathalon. Some of those guys and gals had been running for hours in the pouring rain. Some of the people on the sidelines were walking by without even noticing. Some were cheering and hollering. Shouts like “Way to push through!” and “You go girl!” rang through the air. Still other onlookers carried noisemakers like whistles and shakers.
This life is so hard, have you noticed? We all need encouragement to keep us going for the race. Sometimes we need a smile. Other times we need to see a friendly face or hear a friendly voice. And still other times we need a safe place to cry.
So who is cheering for you? In the triathalon example, there were different types of encouragers. Maybe you are somebody who likes to cheer and be vocal. Maybe you are gifted at giving advice, or lending a listening ear.
Maybe you are called to pray and support people in a more behind-the-scenes kind of way. There’s a gal in my church who writes notes to others comforting them or encouraging them.
But notice some of the onlookers walking by the race did nothing. They didn’t even seem to notice a race was going on. As one of the cheering onlookers, I couldn’t understand how others could not see the human struggle going on right in front of them. How could they not see that the athletes were pushing themselves beyond exhaustion to meet a goal?
That’s why I’m so thankful for my own support system, my own group of onlookers that cheer me on. Some of them are vocal and call regularly to give advice and support. Others email regularly when they have time to stay connected and to encourage me. And still others like to make a lot of noise for no reason at all.
How about you? Do you encourage those around you? Do you notice when others are struggling? or are you so caught up in your own world that you hardly notice?