Several years ago, on an early, sunny morning, I headed east towards Lawton. The sun was just coming up and glaring me in the eyes, even though I was wearing sunglasses. My cell phone rang and I quickly glanced at it, but couldn't tell who it was due to the sun. I answered and a male voice on the other end said, "Don't worry. It will get better."
A little stunned, thinking something bad had happened that I didn't even know about...I stammered out an, "Ooookkkkayyyy." Then voice continued, "Well, I just met you on the road and you had a frown. I wanted you to know that whatever was wrong...it would be okay." After his mini pep talk, I recognized the voice. It was a friend....a brother in Christ.....calling to encourage me. I explained that the sun was in my eyes and probably causing the frowning face and that I didn't even realized I had met him on the highway.
I've thought about that morning several times over the past few years. For one thing, even though I wasn't in a bad/sad/worried mood at all that morning, the fact that this Christian brother took the time to call and encourage me, made me feel good the rest of the day. Another thing is that a few years later, this young husband and father (who struggled with difficult-to-control diabetes) died tragically.....on a road....headed a different direction out of town. Two very different episodes on a highway going out of town.
After this young man passed away, my children remarked about how he would drive by our house as they played out in the yard. Typically they were playing some kind of sport. They would often be wearing OU uniforms, t-shirts, and such. This young man was an OSU cowboy. As he would drive by, he would take the time to slow down and roll down the window to yell out at them, "OSU!" or motion with his hands the OSU letters. The kids enjoyed this fun rivalry with him. One of my sons even wrote an essay about him at school. He missed his stops in front of the house. He called him an encourager.
When you take the word courage, you can add to it in two very different ways: add an EN to be an encourager....add a DIS to be a discourager.
Unfortunately, some people are discouragers. It's as if they get their "thrills" from beating others down, by smashing others' dreams, by belittling others' ideas. Discouragers are all around us, but hopefully the discouragers are not us.
Do you inspire or deprive? Are you an EN or a DIS?
With the beginning of this new week, I challenge you (and myself) to be an encourager to others - every day. Take the time to call someone or stop and speak to someone just like this Christian brother did many times. Take the time to inspire someone this week.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.