Encouragement!

This video is of a young girl competing in a swim meet. This is a great girl and a great family who are members at Concordia! Congratulations, Tessa!

The problem is, Tessa has no competitors for this event. She has to swim the entire race by herself. She was very nervous to swim, by herself, in front of all those people.

Here’s what her mom had to say …

This video is something that all of us will always remember, especially Tessa!! Of all the swimmers at the South Texas Championship meet, there were only two 8 year olds that qualified to swim at the meet, one of them being Tessa. One of the Finals Tessa (in the aqua suit/blue swim cap) made was in the 200 meter Individual Medley. The way it happened to work for this event was that Tessa had to swim the B Final all by herself! She was nervous to swim an event all by herself in front of all the crowd up in the stands at the University of Texas pool. Coach Jen was so nice in giving Tessa a pep talk and sitting with Tessa behind the block before the race. When Tessa started her race, we were all so amazed at the super supportive crowd! All the Wave families there stood up for her and the whole crowd cheered for her–it was especially neat when you see on the video Tessa doing the Breaststroke portion, how the crowd is cheering her on/yelling “Go!” with each stroke. I wish the video was more zoomed out, so you could see that also on the swim deck Sophia, Harold, all the Wave caoches (thank you Coach Jen, Coach Shawn & Coach Courtney) and opposing team coaches including the Nitro swim coaches and Quad A coaches were cheering for her/waving their arms so Tessa would see them as she swam, along with the Meet Officials cheering for her!! Tessa dropped 9 seconds! After Tessa’s swim, a Meet Official gave Tessa a goodie bag! Yes, we will ALWAYS remember that swim!!

Watch what happens …

As I was watching this video, I found myself with a tear in my eyes.  The love and care for this young swimmer was palpable.  All of those people, even though they were mostly strangers to Tessa, were putting themselves in her place and were taking the time and making the effort to cheer her on.

Remember, they were there with other competitors in other races.  They could have sat quietly and let the little girl “do her thing.”  But they didn’t.  They cheered!

Have you noticed that there seems to be a LOT of judgment and criticism within the Christian Church?  I couldn’t help but think: If we, the Church, could figure out how to be more like those swim fans and cheer for one another (instead of criticizing and condemning and picking each other apart), how amazing would that be!

Something has to change!  

But what?  My suggestion is that it begins with me (and you) – each of us making the choice, moment by moment and day by day, to live out what we believe. Jesus said, “By this all men will know the you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 8:31) When Jesus lives in us, when we have been blessed by God with the gift of faith, our hearts and minds and lives are supposed to change!

That change is observable, perhaps more than in anything else, in the way we love one another. When you love someone, it changes the way you interact with them. You want to build them up instead of tearing them down.

Make that choice today. I’ll do the same.  Let’s encourage the people around us!   Let’s show the world know who we REALLY are!

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