Is there a phrase you repeat that came from someone who inspired you? Maybe there have been multiple people in your life who said something you never forgot. This writing is inspired by three people who I hope will inspire you too.
“That’s enough rest!” shouted my aerobics instructor. For years I took aerobics. It kept me in shape and was a good stress reliever. There I was in a room full of men and women who all helped motivate each other. The aerobics instructor was the main entertainment though. There she was counting, and yelling, pushing us to do more, kick higher, bend lower. While doing floor exercises, she would count sets of push ups or sit ups for us. In between sets we would rest. At the end of a rest period, her voice would ring out, “That’s enough rest!” and we would begin again. It has been years since I took aerobics, but I can still hear her voice. It’s the thing I tell myself, to this day, to get my body in gear when I’d rather be lazy.
“Keep doing good things,” said the stranger I met on a flight while traveling to see my sister. It was a long flight. Four and a half hours. He was an old man. Wrinkled with maturity. Well educated. Debonair. Agnostic by his report. He was the first one to strike up the conversation. And it was a pleasant one. It continued sporadically throughout the flight time. Since most people seem not to chat on flights anymore, I was open see why God had brought the two of us together. He had been an owner of a large production-type business. As we shared our stories, he confessed that he had never known many people who worked in the trenches helping people day to day. It apparently fascinated him. He asked me about a typical work day for me so I told a couple of success stories where my efforts really made a difference in someone’s life. His comment in return was, “Keep doing good things.” And that was his farewell as we landed. He inspired me with that. My sincere hope is that something about my Spirit and our talk inspired him and that one day he sees enough truth and love surrounding him that he believes.
“Don’t stop,” commented a friend of mine as she was encouraging me about my writing. She enjoyed reading a particular article and told me how much it meant to her. I really needed it too. Even encouragers need encouragement. As it turns out, those two words inspired this post and my hope is that many are encouraged by it. There are times in life we all just want to stop. There doesn’t seem to be enough motivation to keep picking up trash from the workplace floor, giving money to natural disaster victims, sending a card or text to someone who needs encouragement, feeding the hungry, or checking on widows. But we must keep on. We must move forward. We must encourage one another. We must be our Father’s servants. And when there is no one around to encourage you, let these be the words you say to yourself, “That’s enough rest!”, “Keep doing good things”, and “Don’t stop.”
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
Thank you Linda, Lynne, and the old man, who is no longer a stranger, for your inspiration.