Just showing up
I am part owner of a crazy car called Lola. Last summer, my husband used a Sawz-all to turn the old Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight into a convertible, and my friends and I painted and glued and turned her into a crazy beach car. When a friend from church hosted a car show, we agreed to enter her, just for fun. (Lola’s kind of a show-off, anyway.)
To our great surprise, Lola received a trophy for best of show. It was a popular vote, and kids had stuffed the ballot box (or so we were told by some of the disgruntled serious car collectors who were there). My dad overheard some men at a meeting one night talking about the “car that isn’t even a real car,” and how it never should have been allowed to enter in the first place. “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” became her motto. So this year, when the car show came around, my friends and I felt strongly that we should not enter Lola. She was created for fun, not to upset anyone, so we made other plans for that day and didn’t think twice about it.
But then a funny thing happened. Several people asked about Lola at the car show, so someone called my husband to ask him to bring the car down. He was very clear that we did not want to enter her, and was told that was fine. But when he got there, he was handed a trophy. The president of the car club felt bad about the way we’d been treated, and wanted to make it up to us. So, even without entering, Lola got her second trophy. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? We didn’t even pay an entry fee. We got something for nothing.
A similar thing happens with God. We didn’t pay the price. We don’t deserve it. Frankly, we don’t even belong in the same category. But, against all odds, he calls us. And when he does, we get blessed just for showing up.