Spectators lined the streets for more than a quarter of a mile. Exuberant cheers filled the air as the runners made their way towards the Finish Line.“Go Steve! Go! You’ve got this!” “Looking good Tiffany, so proud of you,” the excitement was contagious.
The announcer boomed out their names as they crossed the finish line. My pace quickened as I could hardly wait to hear my name over the loud speaker when I crossed that line. My very first 5k.
And then it happened…As I neared the finish line of the first race I have ever run, the announcer stuttered, “and here comes… here comes, a.. another runner!”
Another runner. The words knocked the wind right out of me. They still haunt me.
Out of the thousands of runners that day, I was just ‘another runner’. I had signed up for the race at the last minute and my name happened to be overlooked in the system. No one but me would know the value of my accomplishments. No one had been there to cheer me on.
It was not what I was there for.
My daughter was running her first marathon and I had come to support her. I was there to look after her and make sure she had what she needed to finish. I had to make sure she had her banana at the 13 mile halfway point.
I was there to cheer, not to be cheered.
Overlooked and unappreciated, we can live our lives feeling as if we are invisible to the world. How many times have you said, “No one listens to me, no one cares about me?” Giving in to the feeling of worthlessness is altogether too easy when we feel the sting of being unnoticed.
Does this pluck on your heartstrings?
After I recovered from my small accomplishment I took my place among the spectators and began to cheer the runners in while waiting for my daughter to come into view. As the weary runners came into view they seemed to breathe in strength from the excitement of the crowds. It was incredible. It was inspirational.
The humble heart finds joy in championing others rather than being championed himself.
A runner carried a small flag with numbers on it. It was her goal time. As she was just steps away from finishing, her friends cheering her on wildly, she looked behind to see her racing companion falter. She looked towards the finish clock, then back at her friend and breathed deeply as she made the decision to go back and pace her companion into the finish. She gave away her record score to ensure her friend could finish the race. It brought tears to more than a few of us.I found more fulfillment and joy cheering others on that day than when I have been the one being cheered for. “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:1-5
Maybe we were given the task to cheer others on, to champion lives through prayer and kindness. Maybe we are here to serve and not to be served. Maybe we were destined to follow the example of Christ who sits at the throne with all of heavens’ host cheering us on.
One more thing…
You are not and never have been invisible to God.Stasia is mother to six beautiful children and wife to a dedicated, loving husband. They have served as a family together on the mission field on four continents for nearly 30 years. Stasia’s passion is to share in true colors the grace of God in her life. You can read more about her and the ministry of the Women’s Bible Cafe here. Meet Missionary Mom and Ministry Leader Stasia Nielsen If this article has blessed you in any small way, please consider showing your support by clicking subscribe in the upper right corner.