Last week was school picture day for my girls. They looked so cute! I fixed their hair, helped them with their outfits, and even trimmed my middle daughter’s bangs (you couldn’t even tell they weren’t trimmed at the salon!).
Moments after their school buses drove away, I realized that even though I had gone to such great lengths to make sure my girls were fresh, clean (my son’s picture day was a different week), and putting their best foot forward, I had forgotten to fill out the order form for the pictures, including the payment.
I decided that when I went to town to run errands, I would simply drop by the school office and fill those out, which I did.
On my way out of the school, there appeared to be a small P.E. class out by the playground, running a race. And it was here that God shifted my paradigm.
Most of the kids had finished their race and were sitting in the grass while the P.E. teacher stood waiting for the last two little guys to cross the finish line. One of the boys in particular (we’ll call him Johnny) still had a good distance to go, and was trudging very slowly with a red face and a sweaty forehead.
I heard one of the boys seated in the grass yell out, “Gosh Johnny, hurry up!” The girl seated next to him in the grass gasped and said, “Don’t say that to him. Say THIS: C’mon Johnny, you can do it! You can make it! Run fast! You’ve got this!”
It was at this point that something amazing took place. You see, when the first child yelled, “Gosh Johnny, hurry up!”, all he did was make Johnny ashamed for making everyone wait.
But when the second child began to yell “C’mon Johnny, you can do it! You can make it! Run fast! You’ve got this!”, a fire lit up in Johnny’s heart.
Johnny just needed someone to believe in him. Johnny needed someone to believe that he could do it. And he could do it. A glimmer came into Johnny’s eyes and he ran with all his might towards the finish line. He was clearly red-faced and tired, but because someone believed in him, he could finish his race with vigor.
There are people like Johnny all over. They are tired and ready to quit. People say hurtful things to them. People lose patience with them and lash out at them in exasperation. These people are ready to throw in the towel and just quit.
We can be like that first child, and be impatient with them, or we can be like the second and stoke the fires of their faith once more.
I believe God is calling us to call out the destiny within people. I believe God is calling us to yell, “Come on! You’ve got this! You’re not gonna quit! You’re made of tougher stuff than this! You’re a warrior! You were chosen for such a time as this!”
Maybe you’re reading this and you identify more with little Johnny than anyone else in the story. Maybe there’s no child #2 in your life to shout encouragement for you. I know what it’s like to be where you’re at. I know how discouraging it can be, but I believe with all my heart that if you listen closely, right now you would hear Holy Spirit saying this to you:
“Come on! You’ve got this! You’re not gonna quit! You’re made of tougher stuff than this! You’re a warrior! You were chosen for such a time as this!”