“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Woody Allen
I have remembered that quote for years – it has helped whenever I haven’t felt like getting involved with something. More often than not, I have come away glad that I’d made the effort.
Just this morning I read Acts 9. You’ll know it well. It’s where God told Ananias to go and “show up” at a house on Straight Street. Despite his reservations, the showing up turned into one hundred percent success.
It is stirring stuff because it gets to the heart of the gospel that we are all passionate about. If ever there was a dramatic one hundred and eighty degree turnaround then Saul’s is a hard one to beat. And sure enough, his life from there on would never be the same.
At the GLS 2013, Andy Stanley walked us alongside Paul at the end of his life – on his way to be executed. He asked us to imagine what Paul might have been thinking. Did he perhaps wonder, “Did it work?” “Was my work in vain?” “Will it last?” And he compellingly answered the question not only for Paul but for the rest of us.
Through a captivating re-telling of the early church – and the fact that the church continues today – he underlined that when Jesus said, “I’m going to build my church,” he meant it. And yes, whilst there’s more profitable work to be involved with out there, there is none more significant.
If you are in any way discouraged in your “showing up” at this time, if you are wondering whether your work is in vain, I would encourage you to watch Stanley’s session. The DVD is available here or if you would like a loan copy, just ask.
As Stanley points out, if we could have whispered in Paul’s ear during that walk to his death about all of the things his work has since achieved, what would he have thought?
Likewise, Paul says to us: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”
All the very best
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