Generally speaking the most important events in our lives do not happen in the limelight when all eyes are on us. They happen on the sidelines when we simply show up for daily life.
My youngest daughter, Madelyn, was a soccer player, and over the years, her mom and I spent many dozens of hours watching her games or waiting for her to finish practice. I have spent countless hours in the car waiting for her to leave the soccer pitch, climb in the front seat, toss her bags in the back, and begin telling me about her day on our traffic-laced drive home. Those tiring, sometimes irritating, moments from the sidelines are where life occurred.
If you are a parent, you can relate. You have no doubt shuttled kids to and from gatherings. You have spent hours sitting on hard bleachers or folding chairs, cheering from the sidelines at games, recitals, or other events for your kids. If you do not have children, you have certainly done similar things for friends or loved ones. You have shown up and cheered people on. And I want to remind you today that life happens there.
Life occurs from the sidelines when we show up to cheer, support, give, love, serve, and then repeat. And if these thoughts stir some regret in you for the times that you were not available to do those things for your loved ones, please reject condemnation and simply commit to starting now. Whatever your context is today do whatever you can to be that voice of support and cheer. In whatever capacity you can do it, be a balcony person—someone who sits in the balcony and cheers for a loved one as they contend valiantly in life.
Cheering from the sidelines is not insignificant. It is not irrelevant. Legends are made from the sidelines when people show up to clap and cheer and motivate. Those tiring, sideline moments are the moments that will be celebrated for years to come. So, don’t relent. Don’t get weary cheering other people on. Sometimes it is the voice of the balcony people that keeps weary warriors in contention for the prize.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’….” (Hebrews 3:13a)