Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing - 1Thessalonians 5:11
The inspiration for today's post comes from two of my teenage children, Nicole and Shane. They have graciously allowed me to share lessons they learned on encouragement. Nicole started playing tennis over a year ago and played on the high school junior varsity tennis team last year. This year, there were only ten spots open for the varsity and Nicole, along with her cousin, Amy, decided they would help each other to make the team.
One week before tryouts, Amy injured her arm from over-playing. Several times, she actually worked out three times in the same day. These two young ladies continued to encourage one another. They wore identical outfits to tryouts. Each brought their half of the matching hearts to practice. As one would play a challenge match, the other would cheer while holding the two hearts together.
Amy recovered from her injury just in time to win her spot on the team. Nicole was on the edge the entire week at the number ten spot. She was unable to move up to a safer position but also fended off all challengers. These two cousins were like sisters. The encouragement paid off for both and they made the team.
My youngest son, Shane, is an incoming freshman. He is also new to football. He too had to work hard to avoid getting cut since over 80 people were trying out for about 70 spots on the team, most with years of Pop Warner football experience. His coach continues to push him to the limit and some days Shane feels like he does not belong in the company of so many experienced players.
My wife and I got to watch Shane play in his first scrimmage on Saturday. He had just been moved to right tackle on offense and did not feel comfortable learning a new position with just a couple days of notice. The third string team does not get much field time and Shane was concerned that we would be wasting our time sitting in the bleachers.
Near the end of the scrimmage, his number was called and he ran out onto the field. His opponent was about a foot taller and heavier. We watched him stop his man every time. When the scrimmage was over, we congratulated him for his great performance. "You played awesome" I told him. "Dad, I owe it to the first string guy, I asked him for pointers and he gave me lots of help. Now I understand what a tackle is supposed to do. He has been playing football for a long time and his advice really helped".
I love learning from my children. They fully understand that we are not to be alone in life. We are all on this planet to encourage one another. I will remember what they taught me the next time I am having a challenging day. We all have something to learn from one another. Let's share our gifts and help each other to become what we are created to be...