Mary Geisen on working together for The Consilium

One of my favorite books growing up was “The Little Engine That Could“. I loved how this book inspired and taught me a lesson of perseverance. There was a sense of cheering for the Little Engine as he learned to believe that he could make it over the mountain. He was not in it alone. As the engine approached the highest hill, he repeated over and over “I think I can, I think I can”. These four words helped the engine conquer the hill and turned into “I know I can”. All because he learned to believe in himself.

This book is such a beautiful testimony of believing in yourself as well as how this knowledge helps you believe what you don’t already believe about yourself.  We are wired in a way that we are always better together. Others make us stronger, cheer us on and teach us how “I think I can” becomes “I know I can”.

I have always had a heart for encouraging others and cheering them on. I thrive on watching others flourish in their self-confidence, but also love being the support person who walks by their side. Most of my experience has been informal knowing that building into others shows them a sense of caring, love and encouragement that is needed throughout their lives. I love the feeling of self worth that others gain from a beautiful relationship of encouragement. This side by side walk of cheering others on is called mentoring. A chance to be a trusted friend, confidant, and teacher in the life of someone else who respects you and desires this relationship. A chance to cheer on another to believe in themselves and embrace “I know I can”.

I have been blessed to mentor others as a teacher, friend and writer. The partnership always blesses me even more than it blesses them. While I know what a gift it is to reach out to others and help them to embrace “I think I can” as part of their lives, I also know we all need others to cheer us on too. Who has been the little engine in your life? Who have you pulled forward like the train cars attached to the engine?

The image of a train and the ease with which the engine and cars work together displays the beauty of relationships where the same thing is happening. Someone needs to lead and someone needs to follow. But for a train to work well, there also needs to be cars in the middle who let someone ahead pull them along the track as well as pulling those behind them. The teamwork and willingness of all to work together allows the train to successfully reach its destination.

We are not meant to go through life alone. We need people who are ahead of us in this journey of life to show us the way as well as some behind us to lead them forward. We will always find our most trusted mentor when we turn to God as our source of truth and love. He developed the first mentoring relationships when He sent His son, Jesus, to teach, disciple and model for all how to live in love and grace. Jesus taught the disciples, who then shared the good news as they traveled to new places. The Good News spread worldwide because of the beauty of working together and cheering on of new believers to embrace “I know I can”.

These words from Ecclesiastes illustrates beautifully how we are stronger together.

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up. Ecc. 4:9-10

May we all know we are valued and treasured by God who turns our “I think I can” into “I know I can”.

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I am a lover of learning, reading, coffee, chocolate and long walks. A vacation at the beach is my first choice, but exploring God’s beauty anywhere tugs constantly at my heart. I am an amateur photographer with either a camera over my shoulder or my I-phone in my pocket. Capturing the moment means that there is a lot of stopping along the way, but slow and steady is the way to go.

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