Sometimes, all we have to do is show up

Rick Cheek is the associate consultant for the office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth.
Rick Cheek is the associate consultant for the office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth.

by Rick Cheek

Sometimes you just have to show up and let God do the rest.

I was in Shawnee, Okla., six years ago for a mission trip with Catholic Heart Workcamp. During one of the evening programs, a young man gave a talk about the struggles he had with his faith, especially when he went off to college.

He often looked for excuses to avoid going to Mass or reconciliation, and 100 percent of the time he could not come up with a rock solid excuse for not participating in either one of them.

He came to the conclusion that no matter what, he just needed to show up, and ended his talk with that quote:

“Sometimes you just have to show up and let God do the rest.”

That has been one of my favorite quotes and, as we journey through Advent and prepare for Christmas, I have used it many times.

Just a couple weeks ago, we’d finished up a Teens Encounter Christ retreat when one of the young people made a comment about how Advent would be here in two weeks and how excited she was to celebrate and prepare for the coming of our Lord and Savior.

It got me to thinking about that quote again. It’s not just during Advent and Lent that we look for excuses; it’s every week or every day. I often hear, “I don’t like telling my sins to Father. What’s he going to think of me later?” or “Why can’t I just go directly to God?” or “I just don’t get anything out of Mass.”

That’s when we really need to just show up and let God do the rest — when we need to let him fill us up and take out the garbage that keeps us from doing what he wants us to do. I’ve heard often that we can’t share what we don’t have.

I really liked what Father Rob Spaulding said about reconciliation at the high school youth rally “Seven” on Nov. 6. With reconciliation and forgiveness you don’t have to be defined by the worst decisions you make; instead, you must use your decisions, including the bad ones, to strengthen your life and relationships.

I, too, love Advent and Christmas. This year, I have a new grandson to share Christmas with. When he gets older, I’m looking forward to telling him about this amazing little Child who came to make us new again. This year, when you’re looking for excuses, just show up and let God do the rest!

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