Last weekend, I competed in my first full Ironman. Ironman is a long distance triathlon where you swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, and run 26.2 for a total of 140.6 miles for the day. Events are consecutive and the clock is running from the moment you start the swim until the moment you cross the finish line of the run. It’s a huge undertaking and takes months of intense training.
One of the things that I love about long distance triathlon is the community of encouragement. On race day, we’re all suffering, it’s challenging for everyone! We’re competing as individuals, yet, there’s a sense of “we’re in this together”. I can’t tell you how many times I was encouraged by fellow triathletes, volunteers, and spectators. In a real way, their words of encouragement helped me stay positive and focused on my goal of finishing the race.
Life is hard. We all need encouragement. For those of us who are followers of Christ, we need the support and encouragement of our fellow Christ followers as we seek to live for Jesus. We need someone to come alongside us and speak life-giving encouragement to us. We need someone to say, don’t give up! You’re doing great.
I wonder, when was the last time you encouraged someone? Let me challenge you to find one person that you can offer honest, heart-felt encouragement to in the next week.