Today I watched a Fire Truck Pull event to raise money and awareness for the upcoming Special Olympics. During the event, in which mostly teams populated with strong men did the pulling, there was a small group of cheerleaders who cheered for everyone. Dressed in bright red shirts, fluttering silver and red pompoms, they added a festivity and spirit of cheer to the air.
It was only at the end of the event, when they announced the Sparklers would be doing the final pull, that I found out they were a very special group of cheerleaders. The eagerly lined up at the rope, some needing extra assistance, all beaming with pride as they stepped up to take their turn. All this was happening at the front of the truck.
Quietly, at the back of the truck, another group was lining up as well. Mostly comprised of the high school football team, with a few members of local police and fire departments mixed in, this was the group that was going to make sure it happened. You see, firetrucks weigh over 22,000 pounds. The Sparklers would have been lucky to move the truck an inch, much less pull it across the finish line.
At the whistle blast the pull was on. The Sparklers put everything they had into it, and they crossed the line with considerable speed. Perhaps not a winning pull, but solid. They were glowing. Laughing. Waving to the audience who now had a turn to cheer them on, after they had cheered on everyone else all day.
The people from the back of the bus? They slipped away, not wanting to attract attention or take any bit of enjoyment away from those who had pulled. But of course we knew they were there.
Did their presence diminish the Sparklers achievement? Or did it add to it?
Today my encouragement is for you to take a second, look up from whatever weight you are pulling, and see who is behind your truck. Because I can guarantee you someone is there.
A parent, friend, spouse, sibling, child, teacher, pastor, neighbor. No matter how alone we sometimes feel, we all have someone behind the truck, pushing for us, cheering us on in the best way they know how. So take a second, and acknowledge them. Even if its only to yourself, acknowledge that they are there. They care about you. They want the best for you.
And if you are realizing now that you seem to be in the stands an awful lot, maybe this is your chance to get behind someone else and start pushing.