No, this article isn’t about me, though like you even I could do with some cheerleaders cheering me once in a way. As I watch the cheerleaders at the IPL matches I remember an article that appeared in one of our national dailies, and as I read on, tears came to my eyes. The author talked about the New York marathon which is a forty-five kilometer race, and which ends at the Central Park in Manhattan.

About one and a half million people, says the author, line up the sides of the road, in freezing temperature, to watch and to cheer. But they have not come to watch the professionals, who run like lightning. They come to cheer the ‘little guys, the nameless faces, the guys next door, the guys who do their nine to five jobs and train only on weekends, who have no corporate sponsors, the guys who run only to prove something to themselves.’

Says the author, that as every now and then somebody in the race falters, the crowd roar out his name just to let him know they are behind him, and then fresh resolve rises in their cheeks, teeth are clenched, strides get spring again, and they run, driven by waves of encouragement.

 “And then,” says the author, “there was this guy in his late fifties or sixties staggering along.” Printed on his sweat soaked vest was, “Say, Go Bob, Go,”

And then Bob faltered.

The next moment every single man, woman and child in sight screamed at the top of their lungs, “Go, Bob Go!, Go, Bob Go,” Bob looked up, his face grimaced in pain, his eyes glazed over with exhaustion, his white hair limp with sweat. But when that wave of encouragement hit him, Bob’s face even managed a little smile through his agony, the left hand slowly gave a feeble wave and he broke into a run, staggering on his way and rushed past the finish line.

I had tears that over-whelmed me as I finished that article. It was one of those days when defeat and failure stared me in my face, when those around me stood afar, watching to see whether I had the strength to rise and fight again, and as I read the column, the words rang out loud and clear, “Go, Bob Go.”

 “Go Bob Go, Go Bob Go.”

What words of encouragement this must have been to the runner Bob as he nearly gave up. Words of cheer, shouts of confidence that lifted his spirits and made him surge forward and win.

How many of us stand and cheer for others?

I do believe that God cheers us on as we stumble, as we falter, as we get discouraged, but I do believe that we also need to become cheerleaders and cheer others on as they run the race of life..!

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