Everything I needed to know I learned from my Junior Church class. I was thinking of writing a book, but I think that one has been written. Once. Maybe ten times already. Oh well. Perhaps I will simply stick to “lessons I’ve learned from the Junior Church kiddos.” The title is not quite as catchy but my heart is so often stirred, admonished, and encouraged…..well, I know the lessons are worth sharing.
GO – Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I took the middle-aged boys from our class out for some fun. We had done something similar several weeks ago with the girls, and the boys were eager for their turn. The girls loved painting their own pottery but we thought the boys would enjoy something a bit more competitive. We are a competitive group in Junior Church. Even a dot-to-dot paper can become a competition. Excitement – and emotions – can quickly become intense. I wanted our afternoon to be fun without being tooo competitive….if you know what I mean. We chose bowling.
Three of the four boys had never bowled before. And bowling balls are heavy. The (always a mama) old lady in me had some concern. Would they have fun? Get frustrated and/or lose interest? Would even one pin get knocked down? And so on. These quickly proved needless worries as the boys immediately had fun. Whoever invented the gutter guards was a genius – and we had pins a plenty being knocked down. Points accruing. Scores climbing. No concern for which pins fell, how they fell, or even how to finish the frame. Just let me know….”what is my score!?”
But here is the beauty of the entire afternoon. As enthusiastic as the boys were about their ever-increasing scores, they were just as excited about the others’ scores. They cheered, high-fived, clapped – and yelled – for one another! Truthfully, they were the best encouragers. And I was humbled.
STOP – Yes, I know my five minutes are up. However, I was so keenly reminded of the power of encouragement yesterday. We all need encouragement…and what a difference just a few high-fives or words of cheer can make in our day. Those few words can not only keep us in the game (keep us going) but can lighten whatever weight (or heavy ball) we might be carrying. As well, we can all be encouragers! What a great privilege is ours to be the one who will come alongside – or simply cheer from the sidelines – for someone else. Life does not have to be one big competition. Nor do I need to be so focused on my score/strategy/game (whichever analogy you choose) that I cannot cheer for others as well. Maybe even share a high-five now and then!!
These are my thoughts for Five Minute Friday and the prompt: GENEROUS. These boys were generous with praise. Generous with encouragement. And it came naturally….which I love. Sure, we reminded them to keep their hands (and their head!) out of the ball return. But we never had to admonish them to cheer for their friends. Dear Lord, help me to be generous. Generous with compliments. With kind words. And generous with encouragement.
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