I played some sports in high school. Well, exactly, I played a sport in high school. Actually, we only offered two team sports, and since I was slow and had no skills for baseball, I played basketball. Sort of. I was not very good, but I was tall with long arms. I was so bad, in fact, that I only had my photo in the paper for basketball reasons on two occasions; in the first photo, a much shorter (read: squirrely) guy on the opposing team out-jumped me for a rebound, and the other, I missed a shot from about 6 inches. All in black-and-white newsprint, published for all the world to see.
But I digress. One of the benefits of playing organized sports in high school?
Our team had cheerleaders!
All the cute girls with long, flappy hair and perfect teeth and perky personalities got to be cheerleaders. Sometimes, they rode the basketball bus with us players, but mostly, they were driven to and from games in private cars. They were special. And they were loud! Forcefully out-yelling a gymnasium full of screaming fans is no small feat; but they did it and did it well. As a team member, I was so glad to have someone on the sidelines cheering for my team. For one thing, they were all easy on the eyes; that always helps. And when they cheered, they seemed to help us players summon an extra measure of stamina, of skill, of commitment to the team. They cheered us on to go further, to do more, to work harder than we could do on our own.
Today, I believe we need cheerleaders more than ever. As a matter of fact, I believe everyone needs a cheerleader. Someone to encourage us, to motivate us, to rally us to achieve a specific victory or goal or accomplishment. Someone to keep us accountable to others as well as ourselves. And, I believe we all need to be a cheerleader for someone else.
Barnabas was a cheerleader of sorts. A cheerleader to Paul, Barnabas’ name means “Son of Encouragement”. Barnabas’ gift was to encourage others to stay away from sin, to complete the task, to achieve the goal.
Everyone needs a cheerleader; everyone needs to be a cheerleader for someone else.
Even when we miss an easy shot…. When we fail an easy test…. When we struggle down the stretch…. When we are tired and stressed….
Be a cheerleader!
Who has been a cheerleader for you? Who can you cheer for?