The Word for Today by Bob Gass (March 22) talked about how Ernest Shackleton kept his men alive when circumstances turned against them, and they needed rescuing. These are the words that made me think:
How did he keep everybody’s hopes alive?
- First, he modelled optimism. He believed he and his crew would survive, and he spread that optimism to everyone around him.
- Second, he nurtured their sense of significance – he kept everyone involved by seeking their opinions and giving them tasks that made them feel like they were part of the solution.
- Third, he encouraged them. He used humour and promoted a light-hearted atmosphere.
If you know someone who is in the middle of a difficult trial, your words of kindness and love, your confidence in them, your ability to lighten their load can keep hope alive.
I have only picked out the bones of what was written in this devotion, but it is these words that spoke to my mother heart. Today we are having a catch up day – we are going to tidy the house, do chores that haven’t been got to, we hope to have some time of rest, and we are going to visit a family later this afternoon. My family are tired – that is why these tasks have been left undone – they will struggle with motivation this morning. This is why these words spoke to me – I have a choice as to how I’m going to handle today. I can be like Shackleton and instil hope and motivation in their hearts or we can drag through the day making it take twice as long as it needs to.
- I can model optimism – enthusiasm – belief. I know that we can do this quickly.
- I can give my children a sense of significance, an opportunity to find solutions to how we work through today. Today is a day for teamwork.
- I can encourage them, and keep the atmosphere light-hearted. This has a lot to do with my tone (my tone can encourage or pull down, just as my words can encourage or pull down – the choice is mine!)
As I think about these things this is a good attitude to have about any plans we have with our children – even those days we are planning to hit the books and focus on our studies. As Bob Gass said, my words of kindness and love, my confidence in my children, and my ability to lighten their load can keep [their] hope alive.