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At the moment, I am waiting for my Booster jab. I feel very fortunate to be

offered this additional protection, especially when many people across

the world are still awaiting their first dose.

As well as being a vaccination, a 'Booster' can take many other forms. One of

the most powerful boosters can come in the form of encouragement. A kind

word, well timed, can make all the difference.

I remember when, as a teenager, I was wondering what career I should pursue.

One day my headteacher drew me aside and told me that he thought I'd make

a good teacher. That word of encouragement brought me the direction I

needed. He planted a seed that led to an incredibly rewarding 25-year

teaching career.

As a teacher, I soon learnt the power of praise as a booster. At the right time, a

carefully chosen word from the teacher can have a wonderful impact. There

were times when I saw children grow before my eyes. They would literally stand

taller, puff out their chests and stride back to their desks.

Perhaps the best of all boosts comes from discovering that we can be loved,

unconditionally. Nothing builds self-esteem more, gives courage to face

difficulties, and hope for a better future.

Unconditional love is something that is promised in scripture. The Bible tells us

that God's love for us is unconditional, and more than anything, he wants us to

realise it. That realisation can be the greatest boost of all. (Looks at John

chapter 10 and verse 10 for example.)

One of the privileges we have, living as relational human beings, is that we can

be the booster that somebody else needs. We can be the person that brings

the kind word at the perfect time, offers the shoulder to cry on, or the smile of

encouragement just when it's needed. We can be the person that listens, and in

listening enables the someone to discover new strengths within themselves.

We can be the booster that helps someone build resilience and hope.

We may be anxious about a booster jab but boosting can be a joy!