Showing Up

“If you show up, there is no gaurantee that anything will happen. If you don’t show up, then there is a gaurantee that nothing will happpen.”

I heard the above sitting in church on a Sunday several years ago. You know something is important when your remember it vividly years later, and you didn’t even take notes. It was an application point given about taking part in community and as some people say, “throwing in.”

This point is true in so many different areas of life. If you don’t take risks, then you may be able to live a relatively safe life. However, nothing will ever happen. In The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, creatures called hobbits loved to live like this. They didn’t really want anything to really happen in their lives besides eating, tending to their gardens, and going to the pub.

Then, a wizard named Gandalf visited Bilbo and later Bilbo’s nephew Frodo. He introduced them into a dangerous world of adventure. It was a world that would introduce them to other people, places, and things. It brought danger, but it also brought friendship and personal growth.

Though JRR Tolkien refused that these tales were allegorical for anything, stories often reflect truths in life. If we settle for the hobbit life, then we can rest assured that life will be relatively peaceful. However, we can also rest assured that our character probably won’t grow a lot, and that we may feel towards the end of our lives that we really didn’t do anything. That isn’t really a feeling that I want to feel.

So, the challenge is to take that first step out of the door. If you’re an introvert like me, this can be really hard. I do like my alone time, and as a matter of fact I can be pretty selfish with it. I recharge when I am alone. However, I also know that I need people. I need my friends, my small group, my church, and my family. When I get off base, they remind me of truth. Whether I be discouraged or full of myself, the people around me help steer me back on course.

None of those relationships would have happened without some degree of intention. If I hadn’t shown up initially then a whole bunch of things wouldn’t have happened in my life. I wouldn’t be married. I wouldn’t be writing right now. I wouldn’t have a job. Showing up is the most important first step to anything.

As I heard on that Sunday morning, showing up may not lead to something happening in life. Going to a coffee shop for coffee may just lead to a nice cup of coffee. However, when you show up God just may surprise you.


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