The Power of Presence
The Power of Presence… I’m not sure the quote originated with Woody Allen, but I have heard him credited with saying “85% of life is just showing up.” I am also not sure that there is any data to back up his notion, but the statement does ring true. There is something to be said for consistently being present for life. Cal Ripken Jr. earned the nickname of “ironman” for making 2,632 consecutive starts in baseball. We ought not underestimate the value of just showing up and being present for life. One of the very best promises we find on the pages of the Bible highlights this principle. In the section of Matthew’s gospel called The Great Commission, Jesus tells us that we can count on him being present. If you are not familiar with this passage, it is recorded as one of Jesus’ post-resurrection encounters with his followers. Evidently Jesus had given them a specific location to go and wait for him to arrive. When he does show up he tells them that all the authority on the planet and off the planet has been given to him. He then tells them to go and make other followers by baptizing them and teaching them all of the commands he had shared with the original 12. The amazing promise comes on the heels of these instructions: “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). The maker of all we can see, the visible image of the invisible God, the one who is supreme over all and holds all creation together is with us. If you make the choice to follow Jesus, he is closer to you than you can even imagine. His string of consecutive starts is incalculable, beginning in eternity past and playing forward in a world without end. While this knowledge is of supreme value, the greatness of this fact is realized in the experience. He is with us in both the peaks and valleys. He makes the peaks more beautiful and the valleys bearable. All of us, hopefully, have had the experience of a friend or loved one “being there” for us. Perhaps we have shown up for another. All of us recognize the importance of being present, of showing up. All of us recognize the devastating effects when people fail to show up for life or in the lives of others. With Jesus we have the promise of him being with us always. Always! On our good days and bad ones. At the times when we behave admirably and the times when we pray no one witnessed our conduct. Jesus is present for us and in us, if we choose. He also empowers us to be present and show up in the lives of others. Even nature provides excellent examples of this principle. Below is a link to an amazing video about wolves being reintroduced at Yellowstone National Park. I will not play spoiler by saying too much, but take a look at what happens when the wolves show up at the park. Notice the ripple effect of their influence simply by being present.
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