I’m telling you, for all the hard days, I feel a fresh air sweeping through, like rain after a drought, and I’m soaking in those moments. I am wanting to chase after people and spaces where I feel free to be myself, no pretentious posturing, just intimacy and freedom and honesty about what I really like and hope for. Richard has been talking lately about our consumer mindset in Western culture, and how this has made the majority of us prone to disposing of things when they become inconvenient. This makes me want to stick with things even when they are difficult or messy, although this is easier said than done: I like to check things off my lists, and it’s difficult to stick with something that feels inconvenient and tiresome. Nonetheless, I don’t want to blend into my culture without thinking about it—I want to consider carefully, and make wise decisions, and pursue true and rich living, which God intends for us. Most of all, I am thinking about something Beth told me once, which has been rattling around in my head ever since, for months and months, and it’s this:
Seek the things where you find the Kingdom of God.
This brings me such relief, because you know what? We may find the Kingdom of God in different places, you and I. And in fact, together we will bring the Kingdom more fully, if we will commit to the unique ways we express the character of God in our world (another Richard-ism).
And I would rather spend time cultivating and fanning into flames those things where I see the Kingdom, and letting the others fade into the background. It doesn’t mean those other things are wrong or bad, and I know others will find the Kingdom there. But we have to make some choices, because we can’t do it all, and there seems to be such peace and rest in choosing those things because we see God at work, not because it’s cool or “necessary” or expected.
For me, that means no Twitter, because I do not find the Kingdom of God there—I only find pressure to be funny. It means reading this blog but not that one, and maybe subscribing to fewer blogs so there is less clutter in my mind. It means reading these books but avoiding these magazines. It means listening to this band but not that one. It means volunteering at this place but not overcommitting myself. It means throwing worry out the window over what others will think about my latest Instagram photo. Live freely and lightly, my friends; this is what Jesus intended for us, and I am praying to be rescued out of the snares of expectations, so I can get on with the good and hard work of sharing and praying and forgiving and living.
“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.” Yes, Jesus.