Showing up matters. Philip Yancey reminded me of this in today’s GRACE NOTES. Since I’m more of a night owl, it takes awhile for morning to get my attention. At my age, I’m grateful when night ends and another day shows up. So I want to do likewise, not end but show up. Woody Allen said, “Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” While that’s not the gospel truth, it’s worth a passing thought.
And speaking of thoughts, my January calendar states, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” True. But there’s something to be said for and learned from looking back. I just don’t want to get stuck there. Like yesterday, it marked the 9th anniversary of Jud’s memorial service in Gordon’s chapel.
When I look back to that wintry day, January 18 ,2015, I see faces of friends, family, alums, colleagues, neighbors, doctors and nurses. People who showed up. And I’m awed and grateful. Thank you again. You helped me get up the next morning and get on with living. And you still encourage me to get out of bed and “faith” the day.
But, after I wake up, I appreciate and need ritual and routine more than when I was younger. They add structure and meaning. One simple routine is to make my bed. It provides order. And one of my rituals is reading a Psalm and other devotional books while sipping coffee and glancing out the window to see what nature is up to today.
So what’s the point? Routines and rituals matter. So does paying attention. Take the story of Simeon in Luke 2:25-35. Old faithful Simeon longed for the Messiah. Through the Holy Spirit, Simeon learned that before he died, he’d see his Messiah. And so on an ordinary day, Simeon, nudged by God’s Spirit, went to the temple.
Now, get ready for the best part. “So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there.” ( Luke 2:27-28,NLT) And an ordinary day turned into an extraoridnary encounter with The Messiah. I picture Simeon weeping as he realizes who his old arms are cradling. Jesus. The Messiah.
How did Simeon know? No trumpets sounded, no red carpet rolled out as Mary, Joseph and a baby entered the temple. Years of routine, ritual and listening to God’s Spirit prepared Simeon for this moment. And he didn’t miss it. Simeon showed up.
And that’s my prayer. I don’t want to miss those moments because I fail to be present and accounted for. I need God’s help to focus. But I also need a cup of coffee in the morning. You know, “First we have coffee.” Which reminds me of something I read by a prolific author named Anonymous, “If you are not coffee, chocolate or bacon, I’m going to need you to go away.”
Not you! I’m thankful you showed up and hope you’ll come again.
This story has been viewed 70 times0 Be the first to HEART this story