She lifts the hatchback revealing a dozen handmade signs stapled to splintery posts.
Really? I think. Do we need all of these?
Four adults file a few signs under our arms. Each niece holds a kid-sized one on a popsicle stick. They wave them around like pick-it signs. The oldest pretends to gaff the middle sister with hers. We give her a second chance.
Grand-pop steers the stroller with his free hand. And we walk through the parking lot into the cool dewey Sunday morning.
Along the winding country road a couple of 20 somethings walk in the same direction.
As we approach the barricade we notice a few others who found the only spot along the course to watch the 13.1 mile race. We drove around for over an hour hunting for the perfect position. All the road closures blocked us from finding a spot to cheer the athletes.
If this is our only chance to cheer our runner, we are going to make it count.
My aunt, a veteran marathoner, always says the best part of a road race is the fans. They fuel your energy. They make it fun.
We stand somewhere between mile six and seven. We calculate my sister’s pace. She’s 20 minutes out.
A dense cluster of runners dash toward us.
Our family spreads out along the barricades clapping and cheering runners like we know them. Some runners respond by raising their arms like Rocky Balboa on the Philadephia Museum of Art steps. Others raise their cheeks in a proud grin. Some run faster. Others leak pride and joy from their eyes. And so do we.
Who could help it? Today we are witnesses to their lives.
She’s running to celebrate the end of her co-dependency. He’s determined to live longer than his dad and enjoy his family. She’s tired of making excuses. The finish line proves she can do hard things. They inspire us. And want them all to finish well.
Everywhere around us people run their races.
Encouragement may seem silly or like overkill, similar to those signs spilling from my trunk. But when we see their reaction, we are empowered to encourage them more. Encouragement is an opportunity to be a mouthpiece for God and recharge someone’s battery.
So, exercise your encourager. It may not be your top spiritual gift, but in Christ we can tap into all the gifts.
But Sometimes work weighs you down and one more demand on your to-do-list could capsize your composure.
I know you are tired.
Today you plan put your head down and press into your work. If someone stops you, you will get so far behind. You will lose what little peace you have and fail for the day. You can’t afford interruptions.
I’ve been there. Its exhausting.
But I believe there is a part of your heart that wants to encourage others too.
Encouragement isn’t complicated. It can be one word, one nod or one gesture of praise.
When we give to others we always get a return on our investment. Encouragement enlists the law of sowing and reaping. Give encouragement and it splashes back in your direction. (Luke 6:38)
A Challenge for Today
This morning as you sit down to your 2nd week of whole thirty breakfasts—and after you wash down a mouthful of coconut-oil-fried-eggs with a gulp of stevia sweetened coffee—ask God to help you encourage one person at work today.
While commuting to work ask God to show you one person today to encourage. He may show you the person now or not until you are standing right in front of her. But He will show you. He loves this.
Is she really good at organizing projects? Does he have great connections that benefit the team? Is she really good at keeping in touch with people? Is she always kind even when people are impatient with her? Tell her.
If you are really daring ask God to give you one word for someone. Just one word. It will likely mean nothing to you. But when it’s from God He knows what it will mean to them.
Then He will lead you in a way to creatively share it with someone today.
You were made for this!
Now you have your challenge for the day. You are a messenger of Love and Truth. Run your race today, my friend, and encourage others in theirs’. It will change your day!
Tell us how it went in the comments.