Never underestimate the power of applause. This past weekend I was in Eugene, Oregon on business, but one little added extra blessing was that the Eugene Marathon was taking place during the time while I was there. The runners were going right by my hotel, so I strategically planned to eat breakfast at the outdoor café during the event in order to watch the runners and applaud them as they ran by my table. The president of Harvest House (my new publisher) was one of those runners, and I wanted to be sure and give him an enthusiastic cheer as he ran.
As most of the runners came along, some plodding, some jogging, and some pushing forward at a strong pace, I clapped and applauded for each one. My hands actually began to hurt from clapping for so long, but it was worth it! I saw the thankfulness in the eyes of the runners as they seemed to sincerely appreciate the encouragement along the way. Some even used what little energy they had to say thank you, and others looked to me and smiled. I could tell that the applause gave them a true sense of support and strength to keep on going. I was at mile 18, and I think they needed some encouragement about then.
It was a visual reminder to me that we all need a healthy dose of applause in our lives. Uplifting words are the delicious morsels that keep us going when we feel like we want to give up. I’m talking about sincere encouragement, not silly, fluffy flattery. The word encourage literally means to give strength to the heart. I saw how valued my applause was to weary runners this weekend, and certainly our good words are just as valued to weary travelers on the journey of life. Whether it is our kids or the neighbor next door or the lady working the cash register at the grocery store; everyone could all use a good word now and then.
Take some time and effort to offer applause to the people God places in your life today. More importantly remember to seek the applause of Heaven by drawing close to Him and intimately getting to know the God who loves you. If you want to read a few more life lessons learned in Eugene, go to my other blog at: www.thrivedontsimplysurvive.wordpress.com