Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) wrote this phrase, in a positive sense, in a political context:
And what about the kingdom of God, ruled, obviously and rightly, by the Lord himself, but advanced by whom?
Yes, the kingdom is advanced by those who “show up” to work and labor and strive, but not those, of course, who “show up” to be seen and garner honors and diplomas and praises.
The kingdom is advanced by those who don’t “show up” in the visible sense even among the righteous, but do show up by reporting for duty and serving as the unnamed heroes working in the background, the carpet sweepers, the chair placers, the pray-ers, the water carriers, the gofers.
The kingdom is advanced still by those who show up for the dirty work, tackle the sticky issues, hold the line against all odds, lay down their lives in the line of duty, bear up under criticism and persecution, villified by friends and foes alike, reputations ripped apart, blacklisted and excoriated and isolated.
The kingdom is advanced by the quiet hospitable folk, the anonymous contributors, the intercessors, the everyday moms and dads and grandparents and kids and neighbors who live with the Lord in their hearts and go about their tasks and jobs with purpose.
Yes, the kingdom is advanced by those who show up.