linking with Five Minute Friday at katemotaung.com – write for five minutes on a given prompt, which today is “present”
When I was a child I went to a church midweek club, and every year, before finishing up for the summer, we had an evening where family and friends could come and see some of the things we had been doing. We would perform our songs and dances and dramas, and then at the end of the evening was the best part of all: the prizegiving.
I was always excited because I knew I was going to get a prize.
Not because I was good at anything they gave prizes for. I really wasn’t.
But because everyone who had been there a certain number of times got a prize for attendance. You received a reward just for being present.
Looking back, I like that idea- that it wasn’t all about achievement or excellence, but that just being there, just showing up was enough.
Faithfulness, commitment and loyalty aren’t always valued highly today. They’re not seen as exciting or glamorous, they don’t attract lots of attention or make headline news, but this taught me that they are important.
They may not lead to fame or instant success, but over time there is a reward. I have seen this in my work with young people. It takes time to build trust and build connection, but the result is amazing opportunities to encourage and influence and speak truth.
I have seen it in my relationship with God. When I take time each day to spend with him, being present, it doesn’t mean I have amazing revelations from God every time, but somehow I am closer to him, more able to discern his will and more able to live it out. I notice a difference when I have not made the time to be present.
And knowing the value of being present encourages me to keep on doing that, even when it is hard and there seems to be no reward. When I talk with a friend who has mental health difficulties and I have no solutions and see no improvement, all I can do is keep praying for her and keep being there, and hope that in the end it will count for something.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)