Walking the Deck
I sat quietly reading in my comfy chair when my son called out rather energetically. “Mom hurry I NEED you!” As I came into the living room, he hands me a controller to Playstation, like I know what to do with it! Excited, 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. I was laughing so hard, I began to wheeze, tears were filling my eyes, the controller nearly falling out of my hands as I bent over.
We were playing 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.
Amazing what part we play in others lives isn’t it? That reminds of those massive ships in the military. One in particular is an aircraft carrier. There is a department that is lovingly called the ‘Yellow Jackets’ (Flight Deck Officers). These are men and women who, yes, wear yellow jackets and spend much of their time directing pilots as they prepare to take off and in their landings. One of their duties is known as ‘walking the deck’. As a pilot is either preparing for take off or landing, they and many other personnel, 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, pilot, the mission.
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: Cheerleader, counselor, confidante, mentor, teacher and 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. Do lovingly what it takes to help another to be successful. We are called to encourage. Much of the time our encouraging a brother or sister takes … ‘action’.
Paul shares in, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” ‘Encourage’ meaning ‘come along side, to aid with help.’ Here’s a dandy – ‘to beseech with a stronger force’. NOT to be confused with the theatrical big screen over used, ‘Force’ mind you. We are to admonish, exhort to better things, cheer each other on in God! He then says, ‘build each other up’, in the King Jimmy it is ‘edify’. Paul is talking in architectural terms. We are constructing. NOT demolishing! Do our words, our actions help build others up, does it motivate them to better things? Or do we blow them off the deck with our harmful words, our motive selfish, holding back so we shine brighter. (OUCH!) When we leave their presence, with the help of the Holy Spirit did we leave them in a better heart condition?
May we too, put on yellow jackets (in spirit of course) link arms with another and join 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 any debris. I am fully persuaded there WILL be times when it is messy, times when we get a bit of jet fuel dumped all over us, but Beloved, it is worth it! To see them… soaring! Perhaps we too would hear the theme to Star Wars, well personally I prefer the theme to ROCKY! (queue instrumental song in your head)
Walking the deck with and for others.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)