When I was completing a very personal questionnaire one time, there was a particular question in it that made me stop and think: who (outside of your family) in your past encouraged you?
There were quite a number of people who had an impact on my earlier life but I was surprised to see that my memory went immediately to one of the men in our local church. Mr G was an ordinary man, married with kids of his own. He did not preach any sermons; he did not seem anything other than an everyday kind of man with no outstanding talents or gifts ... except for his smile and his encouragement.
I realised that Mr G had a profound impact on my young life simply by treating me as an valued individual. He did not talk down to me like many adults do to children, and always seemed genuinely interested in what was going on in my life. And he loved to smile.
It surprised me that he was the stand-out person amongst all of those other encouragers in my life, because of the simplicity of what he had done for me.
Realising that he was getting on in life, I took the opportunity to write to Mr G and thank him. When he received the letter, he phoned me up, perplexed a little that I should have written to him.
I explained that for many of the leaders in our youth, most of them never know the positive impact they've had. I felt it was important that he should know how much I appreciated his encouragement in my earlier years, and that it had helped me to become who I am today.
He was touched that I had taken the time to write and tell him.
Me outside our local church
when I was about 12
May I encourage you today, to take the time to write to someone who had a positive influence on you in your youth. ©