Saturday, September 25, 2010

That kind of person

The reign of God is something many people talk about and wonder about. Jesus says the kingdom of God is among you, is present, is now, and not just something in the by and by. I think that means we are to participate. His sermon on the mount gives a good picture of the upside down values of the kingdom. Counter to the ways of the world and full of paradoxes and curiosities. Still we may wonder how that plays out in our personal life.

I enjoy Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations which come to my inbox each day. They contain a snippet from his writings, which lately are adapted from Jesus' Plan for a New World. I really liked what Rohr says in this quote:
I hope you’ve met at least one Kingdom person in your life. They are surrendered and trustful people. You sense that their life is okay at the core. They have given control to Another and are at peace, which paradoxically allows them to calmly be in control. A Kingdom person lives for what matters, for life in its deepest and lasting sense. There’s a kind of gentle absolutism about their life-style, an inner freedom. Kingdom people feel like grounded yet spacious people at the same time, the best of conservative and the best of progressive at the same time.

Kingdom people are anchored by their awareness of God’s love deep within them and deep within everyone else too. They happily live on a level playing field, where even God has come to “pitch his tent” (the literal translation of John 1:14).

If we are living the Kingdom now. If we are kingdom people, then this sense that "life is okay at the core" seems like a good description. I want to be this kind of person. In those moments, days, or seasons when I'm not, I need to examine where I lost the inner freedom and grounding. I pray I can pay attention and make the necessary shifts.

This week I am visiting family and there is always the pull to go back to old ways of relating. I have had this phrase in my mind, and I'm recalling it and trying to practice it: "Be generous. Give what you can." To me it's a way to be a kingdom person today in this moment.


Blogger Blessing the Beloved said...

I used to believe I was "Kingdom Focused" and then, hit a massively hard season...long one. Previous to this, could bring myself to peace in a matter of minutes with contemplative prayer and feeling as if I was so "focused" on Him, that all the worries of the world just kind of bounced off me. That Kingdom focus is HARD during hard seasons. I hate to admit that it's probably the fact that I'm not trusting Him during those seasons....THAT's what I believe causes me to lose that inner freedom and grounding. Great post, Jenny! Hope to see you soon!

10:17 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks for your comment and thoughts, B t B. I agree some times it is hard to stay grounded and constant. During those really hard seasons when focus is difficult, I am helped by reading writers who seem to be able to voice a similar experience and still remind me that God has come to pitch his tent with me. And just sitting there with him is good. I couldn't do without my close friends on the journey either.
Look forward to seeing you soon.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

The toughest thing for me is to extricate myself from the daily distractions and duties to focus on anything intentional. Simplify, simplify, I say, but still the stuff seeps in. Perhaps trying first thing in the morning to set a Kingdom-focused course for the day could actually make it more present and possible. I'd love to hear how others do it.

6:56 PM  

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