I sit and look across the field before me, completely covered with young people. From where I sit they all look like ants. Tents set up on the top of each hill all filled with laughter and food. Every color of the rainbow represented and each one of them spread across the field from one goal post to the other. All gathered to compete for the gold. Despite the weather it truly is my favorite time of year. It is nothing to sit in the stands for 12 straight hours, all with one purpose in mind and that is the cheering on of athletes. It doesn’t matter that it is too cold, too windy, and too hot all with in those twelve hours. We will gladly endure it all for the sake of our athlete!
My daughter, Christian runs and I’m thrilled to do everything and anything to help her attain the gold. I watch and support her when she succeeds and support her just the same when she doesn’t. I encourage her when she’s down and I tell her she can when she doesn’t think she can. It’s my job as a mother to always be there for her. She expects it.
I see her in line waiting to give it all she can and then I see her look towards the stands. She is looking for her momma. She is looking for assurance. I give her a slight nod and that is all she needs to add just a little more confidence to her already healthy confident demeanor. She runs and she fights for the lead. She has no idea what it is not to give all she has and more for her teammates. I look down on the track and with great pride I yell like a crazy person in support of my baby girl. At this point no one in the stands behind me, around me and within a two mile radius have doubt as to which one belongs to me.
There is another girl on my daughter’s team her name is Karah. Karah's momma Belinda is just one of many mommas on the team that will do whatever it takes to help her attain the gold. Last year Karah struggled with injury. It was enough to rob her of confidence. She battled to no avail because the gold was captured by someone else. She completed her year ready to forget it and eager to start a new one. Today I watched the results of what encouragement and persistence can do for a human. Her desire and dreams combined with encouragement allowed her to continue working towards the gold.
It's time for Karah to run and I stand not able to sit as she steps on the line. She is eager and ready to run the 2mile. I too am eager to watch her on the track. I see as she bows her head for a moment and then almost in the same movement she slowly lifts her head just long enough to glance at her mother. Belinda smiles at her precious girl with the kind of love and support only a mother can give. The gun goes off and she begins her run, at the start Karah is just shy of first. This great athlete would run by 7 times and with every lap she would receive words of praise spoken by her mother. These words spoke hope into this athletes dream. Her dream of capturing the gold is now in reach. Her momma’s words would be enough to allow confidence to creep in.
Her head rose a little higher each time she heard her momma yell. I watch intently at each time her shoe hits the track. I see it, we all see she is fighting for the win. Then finally the clouds move and a chill hits my face. The place which is filled with hundreds, is now silent to me. I watch as she aggressively takes the lead. Her face is filled with new found confidence ready to show the world how it’s done. The young athlete now in second fights to take the lead back but there is no holding back this marvelous product of encouragement.
Her last lap and she cannot contain the words that her mother has filled her with. She decides to leave it all on the track. My heart stops and I am overwhelmed at the power of words. Silently I watch as the encouraged athlete takes the curb. Second place begins to challenge her but it’s just not enough to dissuade this athlete full of hope. She crosses the finish line and tears roll down my face. Excitement within me that words have carried her to the gold once more. You see yesterday this young girl won the mile and perhaps many thought it had taken everything out of her. I would of been happy with seeing her win second but obviously the words that consume her are to powerful to settle. Words matter and the lack of words matter too.
What if? What if we spoke these powerful words of encouragement to all? I can’t help but wonder about the athletes that have no one there to cheer them on. I can’t help but wonder of all those parents that can’t be there to watch their child run. Those that don’t have the luxury of taking off of work. Those without the funds to travel to cheer on their child. What if we cheered in love even for those that "don’t belong"? What if we encouraged those so "unworthy" of our words? Would they too not settle?
Watch a YouTube video called "A Football Game Gives Hope". It is a great example of what happens when hope by words is given to those "unworthy" of kind words.
All is well in my soul. 1 Corinthians 9:24