Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cheerleader or Linebacker?

My husband Phil is talented in so many ways. One of his gifts is being able to create analogies and describe people or situations with vivid word pictures. He came up with one to describe me this morning that was painfully accurate and a bit humorous, if not convicting. I have been a bit intense recently. As I was once again responding to him with a completely over-the-top retort to a simple question asked, he informed me that he wants to see me be more of a cheerleader and less of a linebacker in our home.

He remembered this commercial to illustrate his point:

I had to laugh. I wanted to cry. He is so right - I have been a linebacker. I have overreacted, freaked out and bowled over anyone that gets in my way.

I don't know much about football but I do know that a linebacker is a big, beefy guy whose sole purpose is to smear the guy across the line from him. He is not interested in gentle, polite persuasion. He makes his point with a shoulder pad to the groin.

A cheerleader, on the other hand, is an encourager. "Go, Team, Go!" she shouts enthusiastically from the sidelines. Her identity is grounded in being a beacon of hope yelling shouts of praise and acclamation despite the score on the board.

I realize this little sports analogy breaks down quickly and certainly isn't a blueprint for life but it did give me some good perspective on myself. I desire to influence with hope not intimidation, encouragement not brute force.

My prayer tonight: Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

The ponderings of my heart will burst forth from my mouth. Lord, continue to change me so I am more and more the cheerleader and less the linebacker. May others RECOGNIZE You in me.