Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name forever and ever.
I wasn’t able to make it out of the first week of Lent without missing a day of writing. I’m really frustrated with myself for that. Yes, I know I need to show myself grace, but I hate when I can’t clear my own admittedly low bar.
A friend once said of me that I’m really great when I “show up”. The critique here being that there are times when I just don’t show up. It is a more than fair critique. This has always been my failing; excellence in short bursts followed by periods of completely falling off of the map.
When I was a junior in high school, I was in precalculus. I had been getting steadily worse in math over the years and pre-calc was setting itself up as my complete undoing. I was working my ass off. I would finish exams convinced that I had nailed them and I would get papers covered with red, with grades slowly moving their way through the alphabet. I hated that I was struggling. I was proud. I was cowardly. I stopped showing up for class. For maybe two weeks I went to the lunch period that was held the same time as my pre-calc class instead of going back to that hall of tortures. It was a game that had an inevitable ending: eventually I got found out, I got a lot of detention and had to go back to pre-calc anyway. My teacher, still a bit pissed with me, stayed after school to help me out. In the end, I still didn’t end up with a very good grade. That was the last math class I’ve ever had to take.
The hardest thing about being consistent in any avenue of life is simply showing up, being present. There are times when it feels just getting yourself to walk through the door or to simply get out of bed feels like a feat worth of accolades. There are times when I know that life would be so much simpler if I would just sit at the computer, make the call, write the email, knock on the door, or show up to class. Sometimes you just have to do the thing and whether it is because of fear or anxiety, I often just don’t do the thing.
We have to imagine that there were days when the Psalmist didn’t want to praise God everyday. There had to certainly be days when blessing God’s name forever seemed like an onerous chore and not a joy. We don’t know if there were days when the Psalmist didn’t show up, but I’m guessing they did more days than not. I’m guessing the Psalmist had a deep sense of responsibility to God, to their community, and to their own self. I’m guessing the Psalmist knew that not every Psalm would be the 23rd, but that Psalm 145 is better than no Psalm at all. I confess all those things that keep me from showing up: fear, anxiety, my own sense of inadequacy, ego… and I surrender them for the sake of just doing the thing.