Essential takeaway: Show Up.
My 8th grade son started wrestling a little over a year ago. In the wrestling world, he started very late and I guess that’s my bad. He is in there now and he really wants to wrestle on the high school team. Because he is very new to this sport, he has won just about the number of matches I can count on one hand. When most of us begin something new, we have to ride a pretty steep learning curve. Last week, we found ourselves at another wresting tournament and we knew there wouldn’t be any awards handed to my son. As we were leaving, coach pulled my son aside. Coach said “You are doing great. I’m watching you and you have natural talent. I’m glad you show up to these tournaments. You are showing up to practice.” I’ve thought a lot about this. A lot of times, just showing up is all we need to do. BE THERE.
A couple of days later, I spoke to my missionary daughter. On the zoom call, she showed me her very bruised and swollen big toe. I asked what had happened. Apparently, they were playing zone sports and this particular game she was not very comfortable or confident in her skills. She decided to play defense because in her words “I can stand my ground and block.” One particular Elder, who did not know my daughters’ ability to stand her ground, decided to run right at her and was surprised when she showed up and took her defense position seriously. She showed up. He quickly found out he could not run her out of the way or run through her space. She said “mom, I thought about sitting on the sidelines with a couple of the sisters, but I wanted to try. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines.” My daughter showed up…. and got hurt! But, she showed up.
Our wise prophet, President Nelson, said “The lord loves effort.” That mantra has gone through my head on a daily basis for a year now. The Lord loves effort. That is a better way of saying “show up”. The Lord wants us to show up. He wants effort. He doesn’t expect us to sit on the sidelines of life. He wants us to LIVE this life. Show up. Show up at work, show up in studies, show up with your family relationships, show up in your church callings, show up in your life. I also like that the prophet didn’t say what level of effort we have to give. Sometimes just showing up is all I can do. I can’t muster any more energy. In our own hearts, we know if we are honest in our showing up efforts. This next week, I have made a goal to “show up” more and be aware of my efforts. Is there something that will require you to give greater effort to show up? Will the effort be worth it? Will we be glad we got bruised and sore because we got out there and lived life? We can continue to move forward with a bruised toe and we might even gain some wisdom through those experiences.