The importance of showing up
There was a big temptation to stay in bed this morning, because when I looked out the window it was thick fog; icy, wet, and wholly uninviting. But I'd told my friend Martin that I'd meet him at breakfast, and had indicated, before arriving here in Austria, that I'd hoped to ski today. After breakfast, Martin fixed me up with skis, and in short order I had boots too so that, almost in spite of myself, I was boarding the gondola for the many meter ascent here at the Planai ski area which is literally next door to the school. The lift ascends and quickly I'm above the fog, with new vistas emerging constantly as we gain height.
Once again, I'm reminded of the value of showing up. Israel failed to show up when they were called to enter their calling and inheritance in Numbers 12 and 13. Nobody was planning on showing up to address Goliath's evil until the shepherd came on the scene with his slingshot. Peter, Zacheus the tax man, the Roman Centurion at the cross, Mary with the provision of her womb - the Bible is filled with stories of people showing up. As I read through the lives of Hans and Sophie Scholl, I realize that their main complaint was how many of their own countrymen had abdicated authority to evil, simply by a failure to show up courageously and do the right thing.
Of course, showing up can lead you out of the fog, but it can also get you killed, as the Scholl children's lives also testify. But as our brave hearted friend William Wallace said, "All men die... not all men really live." The issue isn't length, but quality, and the words of Jesus, when he says "follow me" as he does again and again, mean that there's life to be found by walking down wherever his road leads.
Happy Advent... there are more pictures on the Europe post of a few days ago if you're interested.