Sunday, Sep 26, 2021

Showing Up is Our Job, the Triumph Belongs to God

They say showing up is half the battle. Guess who has the other half and even more...

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Alecia M. White
Author, blogger, lover of coffee, and all things Jesus. By profession, Alecia is a teacher and administrator. She recently published her first book "The Thing Is...", a poignant look at suffering and endurance. She is privileged to share her love for Christ through her writing.

Showing Up Matters

showing upI was brave and decided that I would go to CycleBar. You know, one of those places that only hosts cycling classes on stationary bikes. I say brave because, well, me and bikes don’t really get along. I’d gone a few weeks prior for a fundraiser event, but that seemed different. This time, I went because I felt it would help me boost my workout regimen.

Okay, so, there are these special shoes that click to the bike pedals, so you can pedal fast without your feet flying off the bike. Well, mine just wouldn’t snap on. Then, there was the fact that I just couldn’t seem to “catch up” to everyone else on the leaderboard. But, I’m a runner, not a bike rider, so it’s okay, right?

The instructor kept “bribing” everyone with their scores. “I’m gonna show you these stats. C’mon, you’re only in competition with yourself, but here is where you are, if you care.” I mean… I cared! Then, despite her somehow making me feel slightly defeated by showing me where I was on that board (last), she said something that struck me: “It’s your bike ride. You control your pace.” Geez!

All of a sudden, the only person I had to prove something to was myself, right? Then, God spoke to me and said, “You showed up, you have nothing left to prove.”

Showing Up is Half the Battle

showing upSee, I’d talked myself in and out of going to that class about 32 times that morning before I “showed up”. It was raining, my sinuses were acting a plum fool, and I was tired. And, not to mention, it was a workday.

But, I did it… I showed up!

So often, we may succeed in getting past other people, but if you’re anything like me, you can be your own worst enemy. Self-defeat has caused me to lose more battles than a “hater” ever could. We (I) get into competition with myself all the time.

Me: “You know you can’t do that!”
Me to Me: “Oh yes I can, and I’m gonna prove it to you!”

But God let me know that I don’t need to beat myself up over things that I cannot control. During that cycling class, my endurance was challenged, but I had to realize that there was no need to push myself beyond what I could actually handle.

Yes, in life, push yourself, but also know yourself enough to know when to slow down or stop.  I have a bad habit of that – pushing myself just to demonstrate my own ability… to me.

Our Playbook tells us in Ecclesiastes 9:11, the New Living Translation, “The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle.” I could have torn myself up, trying to prove to me that I was capable of stationary cycling past all those other folks – but what would that have proven? Going at my own pace guaranteed that I finished the class with no complications.

So, What’s The Play Call?

I know it can be difficult to encourage yourself, but most times, that’s what will help you do your absolute best – not keeping up with everyone else. It’s like my instructor said, “It’s your bike ride. You control your pace.” Only, we actually have it better – we can allow God to control our pace and leave the triumph to Him (2 Corinthians 2:14). Here are a few things that, I hope, will help you “keep your pace”:

  1. Just finish. Matthew 24:13, in our Playbook, says “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Know that all you have to do is make it to the finish.
  2. Let the Lord light that path of yours. With Him leading and lighting the way, we are sure to see where we are going with no problems. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105
  3. Always be prayerful. Prayer is communication with God, and if we aren’t praying, we are not communicating with Him. He can help us in the times that we feel defeated, even if we are the cause. “Pray without Ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  4. Be strong in God. We often try to rely on our own strength by not asking for help and attempting to figure things out on our own. Our Playbook says in Ephesians 6:10 that we are to be “strong in the Lord”. That means that we cannot do this without Him.

As you continue along in this journey of life, I pray that you become more of an encouragement to yourself. There is a saying that goes, “showing up is half the battle” and I have found that to be true. Once you step into the situation with the mindset that “you can”, you have already defeated a doubt.

So, be encouraged and “Show Up!”

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