Have you noticed how all of the NFL teams seem to be outperforming themselves on the field this year? Just look at any of the week 5 highlight reels. Rushing backs are scrambling for those extra few inches. Defensive backs are making really hard tackles. And the passing game? My goodness. Is this the era of offense or what?
What has made the difference? I think it's because the crowds are back. Stadiums are full again. And that must make a huge difference to the players.
At one time, the NFL adopted rules to control crowd noise. Fortunately they reversed their decision and crowds are again free to chant louder and louder. Obviously, players attach to that energy. You want to perform in a way that keeps that energy flowing. Playing professional football games in empty stadiums is hopefully now (or soon will be) a thing of the past. It had a highly negative affect on the teams. With fans absent, the home team advantage was almost halved. True, some quarterbacks had a great season last year, but even they must have missed the crowd support.
Maybe we could call this the power of encouragement. It's a power that probably best belongs in the hands of God. But he has entrusted that power to us as his creatures. Every day we have the privilege of speaking encouragement into the lives of others. When we tell each other that we are doing a wonderful job as fellow "players" in the game of life, we rise even higher to the occasion. Like you, I have people in my life who are constantly cheering me on. What a marvelous blessing. I am so blessed to call them friends.
True love encourages. It's just that simple. This means little acts of kindness and big acts of movement toward change. You have to be an encourager every day of your life. You will never feel more alive. In order to be our best selves, we need to build each other up.