Breaking Your Stride

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

This past fall, my son began his third season of cross country.  If you know anything about cross country running, it is that people see it as one of those “misery loves company” kind of sports.  While you run for your own place and time, you are a part of a team that relies on other runners.  In his first meet of the season, as my son was taking the final turn towards the finish line, he began to walk.  He was tired and with his endurance fading, he wanted to quit.  As a spectator, I could see the finish line up ahead.  Another teammate, coming up behind him, could also see that they were almost done with the race.

In a world filled with judgment and people putting others down to look better, this young man did something amazing that sunny September afternoon.  Not only for my son, but for me as well.  He came alongside my son and broke his own stride to encourage his teammate. His simple act of kindness gave my son what he needed to keep going. My son went on to finish that race close behind his teammate.

    How different would life be for us if we had people in our lives that acted like my son’s teammate?

    How different would it be for those around us if we encouraged those that have lost perspective?

That day this young man restored a lost hope inside me. Lately, my perspective has been that my children will grow up in a world filled with people that don’t look out for each other. I see it every day in the world around me, but he showed me that despite my own jaded perspective on today’s society, there are still people encouraging others.

I am coming out of a dark season in my life where the devil had crept into my heart.  I spent much of this time only hearing my own inner voice and it led me down a path of spiritual self-destruction.  Others were encouraging me, praying for me, and trying to pick me up each time I fell deeper into my own self deprivation. But, I had lost sight of the finish line.  I lost sight because I began to believe the lies rather than bask in the freedom that has been given to me through Jesus. I stopped listening to my biggest source of encouragement and in doing so, lost my vantage point.

Why is it easier to sometimes hear the voices of others over our own?  Why do we so easily lose perspective?

Maybe, that inner voice has become too loud and caused you to lose perspective?  If so, keep listening to others that speak truth into your heart. Yes, the lies we tell ourselves can be powerful, but God is greater.  Dig deeper into your soul and let the Holy Spirit carry you through.  Just like my son’s teammate did for him, God will continue to encourage you and push you towards the finish line.  And if you are having a hard time listening, He will use others to break their stride to come alongside you.

Let Him be your greatest source of encouragement so that you can silence the devil and his evil agenda on your heart. 

Maybe, your perspective right now is clear! How can you break your own stride this week to come alongside someone that needs a dose of encouragement?