Last week I went to see a movie by myself. Katie had Bible study, but she probably wouldn't have been interested in this one anyway. The documentary was called "Race Across the Sky." It's the story about the Leadville Trail 100, a mountain bike race in Colorado that has grown from a cult following to national prominence after the release of this movie.
The Leadville Trail 100 is a grueling race that competitors have 12 hours to complete. It starts around 10,200 feet and peaks somewhere above 12,000. Twists and turns, climbs and drops, pavement and mud are all part of the race. Some of the climbs seem like they can't be any steeper. At one point in the movie there's a row of 30 bikers all walking uphill single-file because the rain had caused so much mud that the athletes couldn't get any traction.
But on another portion of the course I saw other athletes struggling. The section is called Powerline because the trail runs directly under a set of powerlines that are streaking down a mountain's side. The trail is bordered by rows of pine trees. And this isn't a nice smooth trail. It has pits, boulders, bumps and gravel scattered everywhere. Some of the leaders were walking up it earlier. But at this moment the film was showing some locals who've adopted this section of the course as their own. They've decided to help these bikers up the Powerline if they want to stay on their bikes. What they do is as the biker approaches, they ask if they want a push. Some decline, but many welcome the assistance. So the next shot is a man coming along side a biker and pushing him at the hips as they climb the Powerline together.
Don't we all need that push sometimes? Aren't there times in life when things are either dull and complacent or frustrating and difficult, and an extra set of hands would really help us get up Powerline?
My biggest challenge right now is finding a job teaching or in the health and fitness industry. We all know about the difficult economy. Few companies are hiring. Those that are have hundreds of applicants to sort through. I've been at this seach for quite some time. I really enjoy what I do and Katie and I have been making it work. But it's not a career for me. I've been searching extremely hard advance myself and it's been a tough road.
But today I talked to someone close to my situation who had words of encouragment. He noted Psalm 45:1 that talks about pursuing a "noble cause." He said that he's noticed how I have pursued a good career in which I will be very successful. I've continued to study and grow as a leader and a learner. I've read books and written reflectively about what it means to develop as a man. He spoke into my life words of encouragement that were perfectly crafted. They weren't sappy and they weren't over-reaching. They gave me that push up Powerline that felt like a fresh pair of legs after miles of struggle. He gave me that push up Powerline...
Encouragement is very powerful. And it usually costs you nothing. You can offer words, thoughts, your hand, your heart. It costs you nothing. But you'll gain a sense of worth as you assist someone else up the hill they're climbing.