Showing Up

“Now when Jesus showed up...."
John 11:17a
We all want our lives to impact others in meaningful and powerful ways, but sometimes all God wants us to do is just show up and He will do the rest.

My cross-country coach in high school had a saying he made the whole team memorize and I guess you could say that those memory drills worked, because the saying and principle is still a part of me today. He would tell us, “Success begins with an “s” and that “s” is showing up.” I can recall one afternoon my freshman year, just before warm-ups, when the coach pulled me aside and asked me why I wasn’t at practice yesterday. He continued to point out that I had missed a couple of practices last week as well. I folded my arms and tried to reassure him that, “Everyone knows how to run coach; you’ll see I’ll be just fine.”

Well, race day came and you probably already guessed what happened. I barely finished. Out of breath, I dragged my body across that finish line exhausted. I came in dead last on my team and I was convinced I would be dropped from the varsity squad. The coach came over to me on the bus ride home. He sat down next to me and said, “Success begins with an 's', Jeremy, and that 's' is showing up. If you want to be on this team, you’ve got to show up to practice and let me coach you.”

So much of life, and especially the Christian life, is just showing up. What if just showing up to God’s Word eager to learn from him is the next best thing we can do? What if showing up to fulfill our responsibilities even when they’re hard is the most heroic act we can take? That’s what Jesus did. He made himself available—to the Father and to others. He just kept showing up when he needed to, even when it was hard. “Here I am Coach, not my will but yours be done.”

Dear God, help me to remember the simple but profound step of just showing up. Thank you, Jesus that for every moment where I've failed to be available and show up, in your perfect righteousness, you showed up in my place. Empower me by your Spirit to model your incarnational, faithful, and available ministry to God and others. Amen.
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