As we left Dogwood Elementary this morning, Phoebe kept asking, “Where is Ivy?” Our answer, “School”, did not compute so she kept asking and soon enough it all crumbled into tears for her sister…
This morning across Kearney kids are heading back to school. Some for the first time, others for the last (tomorrow Liberty begins and then Excelsior on Thursday). I imagine some parents are in a state of delirious excitement, while others are wondering if there little girl is big enough for school.
I was a mix of both. Excited to see Ivy step forward, while at the same worried about kids teasing or that she would get on the wrong bus… of course she is not even riding the bus, but I had a whole conversation with Meg about which bus Ivy would take … In an effort to keep a parent balance I focused on the excitement. And as all good parents I took pictures of everything. Ivy asked why, so I told her the truth. It was for posterity sake, people will want to see these images when she is president.
We have to set dreams aside when we grow-up and become sensible… until we have kids, then we can start wildly envisioning their lives…
As we drove home I continued my picture taking escapade (the pic at the top). Had we been in a car accident I could have honestly said I never text while driving… but taking pictures may be worse. Notice the bus in the background!!!
My photographs snap moments from our life. On the screen, or paper, the images portray a static existence. But in reality time never stops, nor does it remain the same. The present presses forward, resisting our grip to slow down. As I type Ivy’s first day of Kindergarten is not over, but soon enough… things will change. Some things for the better, others for the worse. But in each there are gains and losses. Time moves forward.
We can not go backward. The past is only as alive as the jpeg files I save on my computer. Nor can I move forward, the future is as imaginary as my visions for Ivy’s life. But this moment, this present, everything comes to life. People talk of seizing the moment. The old phrase does not mean we should force the present into to a submissive standstill – then it would be the static past. Nor does the phrase mean for us to haggle the moment into our own favorite vision – then it would become an imaginary future.
Neither are even possible.
Instead, we seize the moment by living the purpose of life. But that points to the existential question; why do we exist, what is our purpose?
Too few people ask this question – too few Christians. Aimlessly we grab at life, but only seize static and dreams. We join Phoebe, asking, “Where?” is our joy, where is our hope, where is our… But the moment can not be seized for ourselves. Fulfillment does not come through ourselves; instead, it is held when we submit to the Kingdom of God.
“The Kingdom of God is at Hand.” ~ Jesus in Mark 1:15
Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God. He came to remind us that earth was not a republic of humans, but a Kingdom. And God is the King. Our purpose is not for ourselves – as though we could save ourselves. Instead, we are followers of the King. The ruler who sacrificed all to give us reality with Himself.
When we accept that life exists to follow God and when we live under His reign, we experience true reality. More to the point, we experience eternity – even heaven. When we take hold of the kingdom we live with God. A life not bound by space or time, but a life that continues – because it is attached to God, through submission to Christ.
Of course this is pie in the sky, so what does it mean to OUR reality? To those sending their kids off to school? To those who are kids or those who do not have kids? What does it mean to seize the moment? What does it mean to seize the Kingdom of God?
The kingdom puts God on the throne. Which means we do what He commands. We live our life not for ourselves, but for Him. So the first step is to answer the question, what is God’s purpose for my life?
Are you living that purpose?
Please do not confuse this as a push for the generic Christian life. God’s Kingdom is not built on rules, but relationship. And in relationship nothing is generic. Instead, God has a calling for each person (not just pastors). He has a vision for each of our lives. A plan for us to prosper…