Thoughts: Show up!

Ninety percent of life is just showing up.

The quote is widely attributed to Woody Allen. I’m not a big Woody Allen fan, but I like the quote. I think this quote has been misquoted as much as not. I’ve seen the quote use two different numbers: 90% or 80%. I’ve seen the quote on the walls of locker rooms and in the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies. It is a good quote.

Just showing up. It’s important.
The church should use the quote, too.

I think the quote has important context in our world today. We live in the information age. More than ever before, we have information at our fingertips. We know a lot of stuff. Often we convince ourselves that knowing is enough. But it’s not.

We’ve got to show up, too. When we do, some amazing things happen.

When we show up for a blood drive, lives are saved. One pint/unit at a time. Showing up makes a difference. We all know that unemployment, hunger and homelessness are real issues, right here in our town. But knowing isn’t enough.

When we show up for something as basic as a simple food drive, hundreds of pounds of food are gathered and then distributed. Because we pickup one or two extra cans at the grocery, someone will have food next week. A family of school age children will have BPJ sandwiches for a week or more. And then we reflect how our “showing up” wasn’t very hard at all…and we more readily agree to “show up” again!

When you show up for a Bible study or a choir rehearsal or a Sunday School class or a youth group you have the opportunity to grow…far beyond that moment. Showing up is a choice. It’s true that sometimes when you show up to be church or do good you’ll run into people who want to do it differently than you. Sometimes when you show up it means you have to work with a group or a team or a congregation.

Sometimes it means things move more slowly than if you went it alone. But you really can’t get very far that way. You often burn out when you work that way.

But when you “show up” in numbers…working together…sensing and seizing the common goal…some truly amazing things can happen.

Content written by Mike Hunter, September 2010

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