My son asked me to go outside and play football with him yesterday. Mind you, he’s 3. So football for him looks a lot safer for me now than it will in a few years.
We were throwing the ball back and forth, and he was loving every minute of it. I’d throw it as high as I could, and he’d watch it come crashing down to the ground and bounce strange directions. He’d mimic me and watch it bounce again.
He’d say, “Daddy…watch me!” And I’d watch him throw the ball up in the air and hear him squeal with delight that he did it.
Of course, when he would, I’d go nuts, making a big deal and encouraging him that he threw the ball.
Then one time, unintentionally, I didn’t encourage him. I didn’t tell him he did a good job. I watched him throw the ball, then walked over to pick it up and continue the cycle.
It’s not that he didn’t do a good job…I just didn’t tell him that he did.
And he asked me a question that caused me to stop mid-stride:
Dat cool, daddy?
He wanted to know if he was still doing it right. He wanted validation from someone who knew the ropes, and knew what a “good throw” was supposed to look and feel like. He wanted to hear from his dad that I thought what he was doing was cool.
Don’t we all have a bit of that longing inside of us?
We all want to be validated by someone who knows the ropes. By someone who’s been in our shoes and walked where we’re going. Who can shed a little light on our paths to make the journey a little more navigable.
Older leaders: we need your encouragement. We need your ‘atta-boy!’ We need your wisdom and insight. We need your gut-level response to our gut-level response.
Don’t give up on us. We need you.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:13
*Photo credit: BackDrop Express