Did you ever buy a new car and start noticing other models like it wherever you went? Or maybe you decided it was time to replace an old appliance and instantly, advertisements for that kind of product popped up everywhere you looked?
Maybe it’s “heightened awareness” or benign self-interest, but whatever dominates our thoughts at any given time sensitizes us to things we might have been oblivious to in the past: TVs, cameras, computers, clothing, furniture, financial planners, attorneys.
In recent years, my wife and I experienced this in the realm of personal health. Following open heart surgery about four years ago, I became acutely aware of information about cardiac disease, as well as strategies for staying healthy.
Last Sunday we participated in the annual Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure.” More than 8,500 men and women took part, either in the one-mile walk or the 5K event for both runners and walkers. The cause was to support research seeking a cure for breast cancer. Since Sally has dealt with that issue this year, it was heartening to see such a huge turnout – including many proud survivors.
Along the route were volunteers offering water for sweaty competitors; others stood along the road just to cheer us toward the finish. My goal wasn’t a prize, but I felt power-walking the 5K course was helping in some small way to advance the goal of one day ridding our world of breast cancer. Now, whenever I see one of the signature pink ribbons, whether a car decal, a pin or on auto tag, I think of that important cause.
Seeing those people along the course, shouting encouragement to participants, I was reminded of the “great cloud of witnesses” described in Hebrews 12:1. I sometimes wonder if, beyond the limits of human sight, a similar group of “witnesses” is urging us on as we “press on toward the goal to win the prize” God has waiting for each of His children.
It’s comforting to imagine as we cope with the struggles and challenges of everyday living, we have unseen supporters exhorting, “Good job!” “Keep it up!” “You can do it!” Maybe they’re there, everywhere we look.