Last Sunday, many of us lined the streets to watch the Tour de Yorkshire come through.
The streets were a mass of people cheering and waving flags, encouraging the riders as they cycled.
Many of the riders who were involved in the race commented on how great the crowds were.
Thomas Voeckler, who won the race, said, “To see my name written on the road or on banners held by children really touches me” and that “the crowd makes me want to come back next year”.
It is important in life to have people who encourage us. Just as the crowds helped to encourage the riders on their visit, we can all have a role in encouraging each other.
Encouragement in everyday life may not come through waving flags but through things like listening, sharing experiences of similar times in our own lives, going with someone to an appointment, dieting or giving up smoking together or just by giving someone a smile.
This is something which the Bible talks about. In the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament it speaks about how two are better than one because ‘if either of them falls down, one can help the other up’.
Later, in the New Testament the church is spoken of like a body, with each part having different but important roles and each complimenting and supporting the other. This may be written about the church but I think it applies to everything we do in life. Everyone is important, everyone has their own part to play, we are all good in our own different ways.
Just because we can’t do something that someone else can, we shouldn’t think that we’re no good.
Everyone is important, unique and valuable and rather than acting superior or putting ourselves down we can support each other - share and value our experiences, help others to do the things we can but they’re not very good at and vice versa.
We will all have people who have inspired and encouraged us in our lives - some who we might have read or heard about but others who we have had personal contact with. Stop and think about some of those people now.
What was it about them and about their stories that inspired and encouraged you? How could you help others by encouraging them?
We all have ups and downs in our lives and at different times all need encouragement (like the cyclists) and can be encouragers (like the crowd).
Supporting and caring for each other is important because it’s only through doing that, that we can all be helped to be the best we can and because of that make our world a better place.