Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An Active Encourager

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I am stunned and quite sad this morning.  I just learned of the sudden death of a good man, age 46.  I only knew one facet of John’s life - his involvement in promoting, judging and coaching men’s gymnastics.  In his obituary I learned that professionally he was an educator of, and advocate for, special needs children.  I am not surprised.

I have always described John as being all about the boys and the sport of gymnastics.  He was actively encouraging.  I think he knew the name of every competitor in the region.  Judges usually bee-line it to the hospitality room as soon as their event finishes, but John liked to hand out medals.  While the rest of the judges grabbed a bite to eat between sessions, John shook each boy’s hand and spoke words of encouragement.  He was not at all obliged to do this task.  He had every right to be in the hospitality room, but John was passionate about the sport and each boy’s accomplishment.

I most recently saw John in Chattanooga at the club gymnastics national competition.  He was coaching his club team from Boston University.  Let me gently say that these girls are not stars, and yet you would think they were the best in the country.  John actively brought out the best in you no matter what your best looked like.

It’s an example for all of us.  Be an active encourager.  Find the good in every person and purposefully foster it.

To comment, click the title at the top of this email then comment at the bottom of the blog.  If you'd like to comment privately, you can email me at papachung3@aol.com.

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