Showing Up

“Maybe part of following You is the hard work of showing up even when it doesn’t result in feeling a spiritual high…”

That’s a direct excerpt from my prayer journal this weekend.

I went away this weekend. While half of LA traveled out to Palm Springs for Coachella, I drove five hours north up the coast to a little town just south of Santa Cruz, called La Selva. A tiny little cottage of an Airbnb awaited me, planted in the middle of a garden filled with flowers and hummingbirds and a big lemon tree bursting with ripe fruit. I went by myself with no plans – except to refocus and spend time with Jesus.

It was one of those situations where you say you don’t have expectations, but subconsciously you absolutely do. I said I was going to get quality time with Jesus, but really I wanted a spiritual high, an answer for the questions I was (and am) wrestling with and for some sort of revelation from Jesus. But that wasn’t what happened.

I wanted so badly to come off this trip bubbling over with spiritual inspiration and on fire for Jesus. But driving back down the coast, winding along cliffs and overlooking the ocean, I realized that more or less, nothing had changed. I got some really necessary time with Jesus and I got a break from the anxieties of daily life, but at the end of the trip I still didn’t have answers, there weren’t any life-changing revelations and there are still things I’m wrestling with God over.

The trip was still good. I still needed that time with Jesus – he’s my life source, after all. But maybe what I am learning is that following Jesus doesn’t mean endless spiritual highs. Following him and surrendering to his plans doesn’t always feel warm and fuzzy. Sometimes, if I’m being really honest, following Jesus looks a lot more like laying my life down and fighting my flesh than joyful carefree days. Sometimes choosing to believe in who Jesus is takes everything I’ve got.

But.

It is always worth it.

I’m learning that the hard work of showing up in my relationship with Jesus doesn’t make it less worthwhile. The days where He seems silent don’t change the fact that I need Jesus more than the air I’m breathing. Jesus didn’t promise warm and fuzzy – He promised everlasting life, and that’s what I’m after.

I don’t have any crazy revelations from the trip, but I did make a choice and I’m going to keep making the choice: to show up. To sit at the table. To sit in the presence of God. When it feels joyful. When it feels difficult. When I don’t feel like it at all.

Why?

Because it builds endurance in my soul. Because He is worthy. Because everlasting life is the goal. And because He who loves us is always worth it.

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