Walking the Deck
This afternoon, my youngest son and I were home alone. As I sat in the living room enjoying a rousing episode of Blog Log Cabin on HGTV, he called out rather energetically… “Mom hurry I NEED you”. As I came into the family room, he hands me a controller to Playstation (like I know what to do with it). He begins to yell out commands, which I assume I am supposed to be following. I took a seat and thus begins the hysterical game playing on my end. I was laughing so hard, I began to wheeze, tears were filling my eyes so much I could hardly see the screen.
We were playing the Lego version of Star Wars, he kept saying “follow me!” I was TRYING! I didn’t know which buttons to push, so I pushed them all. Somehow I was supposed to get my man up on that scooter thingy. Much to my own amusement, I kept crashing into trees. My job as I found out later, was to be a distraction so his guy could finish his mission. Before I knew it, Matthew says, “Ok… you can stop now” – had I even begun? The theme to Star Wars came on and I knew he was victorious. My job was finished there (well…until he became hungry for lunch).
Amazing what part we play in others lives isn’t it? Hm… That reminded me of a show our family watched recently. It was a documentary on those massive ships in the military. One in particular was an aircraft carrier. They focused in on the department that had been lovingly called the ‘yellow jackets’ (Flight Deck Officers). These were the men and women who, yes, wore yellow jackets and spent their time up top on the flight deck. One of their duties was known as ‘walking the deck’. Knowing a pilot was either preparing for take off or landing they would line up across the deck, and slowly – meticulously look for any debris. The debris if left on the flight deck could be very hazardous to the plane and pilot.
I find it very interesting as I liken it to our own relationships found in the Kingdom of God. We have many roles we play in others lives, like cheerleader, counselor, confidante, mentor, teacher, friend. But we are also to ‘walk the deck’ if you will, and do our part helping to remove any debris or obstacles along the way. We are called to encourage. Much of the time our encouraging a brother or sister takes … ‘action’.
How many of us could say we had experiences in our own lives that we wished someone – ANYONE – would have told us ‘THAT’ was coming and, ‘Look out!’ Alerting us, even removing the hazardous debris. Maybe, just maybe, we too would have heard the theme to Star Wars playing in the background – declaring a victory in our lives (personally I prefer the theme to Rocky!)
Remember the story of Jonathan and David? They are a prime example of this. They shared a special friendship. Jonathan was heir to the throne. Yet he loved and saw something in David and did what he could to ‘clear the way’ to see David succeed. 1 Samuel chapter 18 says that Jonathan made a covenant with David; he took off his robe, tunic, his sword, bow and belt and gave them to David. What a symbolic gesture! A ‘denying, selfless, gesture’. He was handing the kingdom to David. One of the obstacles removed? Himself. He was telling David, ‘I step out of the way’.
As we follow this story, Jonathan goes to great measures to protect, love, encourage, and strengthen David.
Paul too speaks of this, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…’ This verse packs a ‘double’ punch. Paul says ‘encourage’ one another. Meaning ‘come along side, to aid with help’, here’s a dandy – ‘to beseech with a stronger force’. You’ve heard the saying ‘they know how to get in my face.’ That is EXACTLY what Paul is saying. We are called to get in each others faces, with the bridge of love and relationship. We are to admonish, exhort to better things, cheer each other on in God, even reprove at times.
He then says, ‘build each other up’, the King Jimmy says ‘ edify’. Paul is talking in architectural terms. We are constructing… NOT demolishing! To edify can also mean to ‘prepare, create, to help arrange, to shape’. Yes, we are called by God to help shape one another. I always look to see what is the opposite of what we are to be or do. In this case… the antonyms of encourage and edify – to be still, quiet, to corrupt, and to destroy and cast down. Hm… deep thought.
I LOVE Hebrews 10:24 ‘…let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds’. ‘SPUR’ – ever been ‘spurred’ by someone? That affective – creative – encouragement to action, or feeling.
Recently I was spurred on by a dear friend; they shared concern, counsel, prayer, and scripture. Everything was there, except – for the cheerleading pom-poms, (which is a good thing!) They included themselves in my circumstance and just like the yellow jackets… they PARTICIPATED! I have another friend, whom she and I send each other cards of love. It is our way of ‘cheering’ each other on, edifying one another, making each other smile, and saying beyond any doubt ‘I love you, I am here for you, and I will walk your deck.’
The yellow jacket’s goal is to help provide a safe environment for their pilot to complete his mission. They joined forces, doing their part, to allow for a safe take off and landing – walking the deck.
May we too, put on yellow jackets (in spirit of course) link arms and join forces – inviting too the heavenly forces. May our words of encouragement, be met with our actions of love. May we love enough to point out, pick up, and remove debris. May we love enough to build up, not tear down. May our ‘come along side’ be motivated to help shape another… shaping them into the image of Jesus.
‘Spur on’ dear loved ones of Christ! (Raw-Raw – pom poms flying high! Theme to Rocky playing on the loud speaker)
Have a God-loving, looking good in yellow – week.
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 You thrill me, LORD…)