Be the Kingdom
April 29, 2013
Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
Our family is getting ready for a move. A move of choice. A move into more of what we want our life together to be. But a move.
A big “purge and clean the house, make the house look like the perfect family lives in it, sell the house, pack the house” kind of move. The kind of move we have to do by one big truck load, not car loads. We have to take it all with us. We are five people with a lot of stuff.
Months ago we got rid of the throw away stuff. We got rid of the give away stuff. Lots of give away stuff. We did indeed sell the house! In three weeks we are packing up and handing the keys to the new owners. And I am still worrying about “stuff”.
There is a part of me that wants to let go of nearly all the rest of our worldly possessions and only take what we absolutely love. Say goodbye to the hulking buffet we don’t need that was great-uncle Bill’s but matches the desk we still love. Say goodbye to the mediocre photos and saving the ones that capture the moment. Say goodbye to good clothing we don’t like, duplicates kitchen items, knick knacks that hold more memory than utility or design.
It scares the crap out of me. I WANT to not worry about my life, what I will eat or what I will wear! I want to strive for the Kingdom…but what if down the road I really want that second cheese grater or spiffy jacket I gave away?
Perhaps what Jesus was saying to his disciples had less to do with loss and more to do with presence. To create the Kingdom right then, right there . Not making plans to GET TO the Kingdom but instead to BE that Kingdom. God calls each of us to BE God’s Kingdom. And if I am to heed the words of Jesus then I am called to be the Kingdom too.
Maybe necessity will help liberate me this time around. What might happen if instead of focusing on the worry generated by this move I focused on how I am BEING God’s Kingdom in it? How might it shape my time, my choices and my generosity?
Instead I will strive for God’s Kingdom. Anyone want an extra cheese grater?
-Consider a time you felt like you were experiencing God’s Kingdom in your life.
-Name a situation right causing you the most worry right now?
-Spend a day using your energy to BE God’s Kingdom in that situation instead of using your energy to worry. What changed?
Whoever is writing these must be mind readers… because so far, every day the post has been something that is heavy on my mind. A sudden change, needing comfort, dealing with worry… these are things that are very immediate for me right now, and these posts and scripture passages just nail it in terms of what I need to hear, to be reminded of right now. What am I worried about? A looming job loss, a complete upheaval of my life as I don’t just leave this job, but anticipate a total change of career. But, I have to keep reminding myself that it is also an opportunity to seek out a better purpose for my life, to let myself be guided, to – as this post puts it – be the kingdom. But it’s scary.
George E. Hilty
Thank you for the honest sharing about “stuff.” I can identify. For me, the “stuff” means clutter, the opposite of simplicity. Complexity doesn’t always entail anxiety but makes navigating thru life more difficult–more complicated. Being the kingdom probably means that the fruit of the spirit is growing and manifesting. Joy and peace oppose anxiety. I suspect they have been sufficiently developed to allow the kind of unloading–especially the giving away “purge” of stuff that preceded and accompanied your move. Since it is the “fruit”–not “fruits”–of the spirit, the symmetry of the growth means–for me–that “self control” is also developing. As it matures, I’m hoping for and expecting less clutter, more simplicity.