"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
In December of 2014, Gary Snow, 43, weighed over 300 pounds and was told by his doctor that he needed to make a lifestyle change. Heeding his doctor's advice, Gary modified his diet and began using an elliptical to shed some weight. Six months later and 45 pounds lighter, he went to see his brother, Chris, run (and win) a local 5k race. At Chris' prodding, Gary joined his brother at a 5k the following month and hasn't stopped running since, most recently completing his first half marathon. He says he was inspired to keep going because of all the encouraging people he met along the way. "All of these wonderful athletes have one thing in common: A love of the sport and a helpful spirit for fellow runners...I’m so happy to be numbered among the millions who call themselves a runner."
And while the reasons people begin running are as unique and varied as their form and pace, the reason most runners stick with it is because of the motivation and support they receive from their fellow athletes. Those people who encourage them to get out when they don't feel like it, congratulate them on their accomplishments and push them to reach new goals. And this is the same helpful spirit that you and I should be showing to our Christian brothers and sisters so that we might "encourage one another and build each other up.." helping one another to stay focused, consistent and growing in our faith.
Because of the help he received along the way, Gary was happy to report that, on October 28, 2017, he reached his goal weight of 198 pounds. Encouragement is truly a powerful motivator isn't it? May we remember that as we look for ways in action and in speech to uplift and inspire one another to flourish in our running but, more importantly, in our walk with Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder of how encouraging words, attitudes and actions can spur people on to reach a milestone or merely make it through a difficult time or day. Help us to have helpful spirits, always joyful, that we might incite others to keep pressing on and keep the faith. It's in your precious name we pray Jesus. Amen.
Eyes up - Building 429