October 7, 2010
Keep Going! Don't Give Up!
"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" (Hebrews 12:1 NIV).
Friend To Friend
My son was fast, and he ran with a fast crowd. As a matter of fact, his entire track team was pretty fast! In the ninth grade, Steven participated in the conference track meet, running the 1600 meters. (That's four times around the big circle.) I was so proud of him as he ran like a gazelle around the first lap, about six feet behind the first place participant. But, at some point during the beginning of the second lap we saw an unidentified flying object soar over Steven's head.
"What was that?" my husband asked. "It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's Steven's shoe!"
All the fans were laughing and pointing as they noticed Steven's left running shoe fly heavenward and land on the grassy field. But amazingly, Steven kept running and never missed a beat. With one shoe off and one shoe on, he continued running. The atmosphere of the race sparked with excitement and the focus seemed to change. It became less about who would win and more about if Steven would make it to the finish line. All curious eyes were now on one lean runner. Would he stop? Would he slow down? Would his sock stay on?
His teammates began to run around the track, cheering him on. "Come on Steven! Don't give up! Don't slow down! Keep going!"
Surprisingly, at the urging of his teammates, Steven sped up. By the third lap, he had passed the first place runner by several paces. But then predictably, his sock started to work its way down the ankle and the toe was flopping like a loose sole of a worn old shoe. Undaunted, Steven ran on, sock flopping behind.
When Steven crossed the finish line in first place, the crowd erupted in applause and laughter. He had broken his best personal running time!
"Son, maybe you should have kicked off both shoes. No tellin' what you could have done," my husband cheered. "You made your best time ever. What made the difference?"
"I knew everybody was looking at me," Steven answered. "It wasn't just a race anymore, but they were watching to see what I'd do. It made me go faster. It made me want to do better."
All through our lives, we will notice "fellow runners" who have lost more than a shoe - they have lost their hopes, their dreams, and their will to finish the race. What will we do? What can we do? We can cheer them on by offering a timely word of encouragement and run alongside them shouting, "Come on friend! Don't give up! Don't slow down! Keep going!"
Who knows? That friend may do more than simply finish the race. She may even take first place!
Maybe you're that friend. That's why we're here. We all need girlfriends to cheer us on. So consider yourself encouraged today. You keep going girlfriend! We're cheering for you!
Dear Heavenly Father, is there someone that I can encourage today? Is there someone who is growing weary in the race, who has lost hope, or who has quit altogether? Show me one person today that I can cheer on. Show me one person today who needs to hear about the One who loves them best - You.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Has there been a person in your life who has cheered you on when you hit rough times? If so, consider writing her a note or sending her an e-mail of thanks.
Is there someone that you have noticed isn't running too well these days? Perhaps God is calling you to be that cheerleader for them.
Make a list of some tangible ways that you can "cheer" a friend on. Let's share them with each other at www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes. You ideas may be just what someone needs to hear.
More From The Girlfriends
Do you want to be known as an encourager? The Bible tells us how. The answer is right under our noses - words. To learn more about how to use words wisely you'll want to read Sharon's book, The Power of a Woman's Words. Learn about the power you possess, the people you impact, and the potential to change!
Originally published Thursday, 07 October 2010.