Showing Up on Time

car-driving-watch“This is many times the most important thing you can do in following Jesus…”  I was waiting as Bob was going to share some profound insight. “You just need to show up on time.”

Seriously?  I’ve pondered that over the years. Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is show up on time.? What does it mean to show up?

First of all it doesn’t mean attendance. You can attend something and not really show up. You can go grocery shopping and not show up, checked out and unaware of the person next to you. You can go out to eat with a friend and not show up, as you spend time “connecting” with others via FB, text and email.
We all tend to hide and find it unnatural to show up, to be present.

Think about the last 24 hours. In what situations were you present with others? Present in the sense of being aware of them, their story, their feelings, listening, asking questions, and listening some more. It is so easy to fly through the day and not really connect with anyone.

Same thing in our relationship with Jesus. Showing up is being aware of Jesus; looking for what He is doing, prayerfully listening to what He might be saying, being restful, not trying to make anything happen, yet exerting some courageous effort in response to His compassion.

Most of the time I’m not courageous at all, yet sometimes I bumble my way into a moment when God shows up.

I was in the airport waiting about 45 minutes for some friends to arrive. Standing there behind the metal fence, this guy was going on about his exploits and accomplishments.  He was quite talkative. And asking almost every person who walked through the doors where they were from…

At first I was embarrassed, then a little annoyed.  Others were rolling their eyes, and looking down at their phones. I was trying to listen, while wondering if I should assume another quieter position about 20 feet away.

In the back of my mind was this thought, “just listen…”  Then it came out.  He was deeply pained over his son who just entered a treatment center. He didn’t know what to do. He was watching alcoholism destroy his son. Wow. As my friends arrived I shook the guy’s hand and offered to pray for his son. He looked at me, incredulous. And hopeful.

Showing up on time. Easily distracted. Hard to be present. Trying to listen, to others and to Jesus. God is so amazing.

A simple prayer:
Lord have mercy on me. Help me to show up on time today.
Make me aware of Your great love for me, and for others.
Help me to listen in the middle of commotion and busyness.
Remind me to pray and listen.
Give me your heart.
Pause
And give me courage to respond to Your quiet voice.

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