Friday, April 30, 2010



A few early mornings ago I found myself awake and thinking about encouragement. I could have used this blog article yesterday. Yesterday, I was dealing with multiple side effects probably from my chemotherapy. I would not put them in the Job pain and suffering category, but they are in the incessant distraction category and made it very difficult to find a comfortable position to sit or stand. After multiple doctor visits and being probed by both male and female doctors, and therefore losing all modesty, I had some solutions but no immediate relief.

So what is encouragement? How is it obtained?
It seems to me that encouragement is a close cousin to endurance. That thought took me to my long distance running days. Here are my conclusions. Endurance is the stick to it motivation to keep striding in the race, putting one foot in front of the other until you finish the race. Encouragement is what you experience that stirs the internal motivation to keep running. In this alagory, I do not take finishing the race as end of life but completing the course of battling a brain tumor, or whatever other pain and suffering one might be facing. Encouragement is your family and friends on the sideline cheering you on. Endurance is also the thought of reaching the finsh line, breaking the tape and being engulfed by family and friends and your fellow runners on your team. You hug, high five, and experience the elation of success. You have made it! And because you have made it, you and your team mates will be able to coach others to do the same. This is what gives you the motivation to endure, to stay encouraged. It is all worth it!

So my fellow runners, prayer partners, encouragers, let’s keep running. We have some coaching to do. I am looking forward to the high fives and hugs. You have helped make it happen. You also deserve the reward of accomplishment.

(Philippians 2:1-11)  If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, {2} make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. {3} Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; {4} do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. {5} Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, {6} who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, {7} but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. {8} And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. {9} Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, {10} that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, {11} and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

No comments: