I’ve been looking at encouragement a lot. I am a natural encourager so I do see places to encourage, places where people have encouraged others and also where it does not happen.
For the last two years, which means it has now become a tradition, the little drama group I coordinate in at our church do a skit on something related to Christmas. The first year we did 4 disgruntled people at Christmas and how they had lost the meaning of the season – a frustrated housewife, a mad granny who was knitting Christmas, a selfish teenager and an overworked vicar. Last year we did a mother and daughter who had fallen out over something trivial and weren’t speaking and needed Jesus’s reconciliation. This year we are looking at Mary and how the angel and, her cousin. Elizabeth supported and encouraged her.
It has been an interesting development with the little group. I feel we have all gone, as people, from being slightly disgruntled with church and life in general, to being reconciled with life, church, ourselves, etc. The way, I think, it has happened is by encouraging each other. This group would not happen if our vicar didn’t expect something from us – which actually is encouraging in and of itself – but that we also all buoyed each other up and encouraged each other. Each of us has a different role and we all give the others the freedom to be who they are.
As I reflect on encouragement myself I think of how my life is changing for next year with my writing life become more central. There are a few people who have encouraged that but the big one has been when, on the Cinnamon writing retreat Jan, who runs Cinnamon Press, said she wanted to mentor me and my writing. To be mentored properly I cannot just have my writing as something I dip in and out of when I want to – or rather not when I want to but when I let all the other things that crowd my life butt out. I have to take it seriously and have to give it the time. Cinnamon then ran a competition for
bursaries which I bravely entered. I came equal second!! Another amazing encouragement. So because of this I am giving up a lot of things and concentrating on what I have always dreamed of doing since I was about 12 years old. It has taken me 45 years to get to this point but I am now here.
Even with that I could put myself down and think of all the wasted time but I will encourage me and say now is the time to seize the day. Carpe diem.
Going back to Mary in the Bible. We often talk of how amazing she was – and yes she was – but she was able to be amazing by the encouragement and support she got not just from God via the angel but from her cousin, Elizabeth. So I will finish this post as I will finish the skit we are going later on by saying: (and go with this even if you don’t believe in God. Substitute “God” for whatever works for you)
Mary and Elizabeth were so excited about being able to support and encourage each other so should we be that excited about supporting and encouraging each other.
We will often find ourselves in situations we can’t cope with on our own and need to remember God’s promises but also need others to remind us who God is and what He says.
So this Christmas time let’s stand together and support each other and then be amazed at what we can do