On Showing Up
I was cooking dinner with a dozen different, semi-related, thoughts running through my head. I stood over the stove, fork in hand, turning bacon and trying not to get grease all over everything.
My thoughts felt scattered and disconnected. Over and over I went back to the story of Jesus telling the disciple to throw their nets over the side of the boat.
I am horrible at remembering details so as the bacon drained I pulled up Bible Gate way to search for the story. Turns out there are two similar stories recounting two separate events.
The first one is Luke 5. After fishing all night Simon is told to go put his nets into the deep water. Despite having nothing to show for a long nights work, Simon did as he was told and ended up with so many fish he had to call for help pulling them in.
The second story takes place after Jesus is resurrected. After all the miracles and amazing things they saw at his side, Christ's disciples have gone back to fishing. Again they have caught nothing when Jesus tells them to put their nets on the other side of the boat. And again the take is to plentiful the nets almost break.
I stand back at my kitchen counter assembling BLTS (or rather BLs for the girls and I and a BLT for Josh) thinking about these men. Things weren't really going their way. Work was rough, and unfruitful. They had put in hours and hours of labor and saw literally NO return. It would have been really easy for these guys to have called it quits. What would have been the harm in calling things early? The fish weren't biting. Why not clock out and catch a few extra minutes of sleep? But they didn't do that. They were faithful. Even when things seemed pointless they showed up. And as a result they saw miracles, but beyond that, they saw Jesus.
Showing up when things are going well is easy.
People want to be part of something big.
As a church it's easy to show up when babies or born,
when the church is putting on a big out reach event,
when funds are being raised after a natural disaster.
It is easy to show up when God is clearly moving and there is revival.
It's a lot harder to show up to serve in nursery,
to clean the toilets,
to mop floors,
to fold laundry.
We all want to be part of the harvest. But being part of the planting isn't as glamorous.
My daughter wants to read her princess books, but doing sight word flash cards is boring.
I want to have deeper community with the body, but chasing a toddler around at prayer can leave me feeling frazzled.
I want to be close to my husband, but the to do list is long and by the end of the day I am too tired to spend real time with him.
I want to be closer to God, but I struggle to make time to open my Bible daily when I feel like He is silent.
I think about those fishermen and their faithfulness. I think about them showing up in the mundane every day. I think about what they would have missed out on if they hadn't.
I think about where God is asking me to show up. Not in the big ways. The conferences, the out reaches, the dates nights, and the school programs.
But the small things. The letter written, the meal cooked, the home work finished, the questions asked, the verses read, the hug given.
I think about what I a might have missed by not showing up.... and what might be in store if I do.