Lessons learned on a Mountain
The Kingdom of God may be more about the journey than the destination.
While vacationing earlier this month, Phyllis and I decided to drive to Lake City, Colorado. We were staying just outside Buena Vista, Colorado, so we had a two-and-a-half-hour drive ahead of us.
Halfway to Lake City, at the top of Monarch Pass, we were stopped by a road crew. The flagman apologized, explaining there was a danger of trees falling onto the roadway. In the distance, we could hear the unmistakable sound of chainsaws ripping wood. I turned off my truck and lowered the windows.
When we started the journey to Lake City, we were excited about what was ahead. Our destination meant an afternoon of jeep rides along mountain roads with friends and a leisurely game of Bingo at the Lake City Chamber of Commerce’s “Bingo in the Park.” Standing still in the mountains of central Colorado was not in our plans.
We had a choice to make.
- We could stress and wallow in the disappointment of our agenda changing.
- We could be present in the moment and embrace the journey.
We quickly concluded any necessary delay for the public’s safety was just fine with us. We had absolutely no cause for disappointment. (Have you ever been stuck in the mountains of Colorado? There are worse places.) We would eventually reach our destination. We were determined to experience the journey.
HERE AND NOW
Jesus spoke of a coming day when the Kingdom of God will be fully realized. Heaven will be our home. Jesus will be seated upon his throne. Sin will be no more. The Kingdom of God will be experienced in full when life as we know it comes to an end. We have his promise and we know he keeps his word.
Jesus also spoke of the Kingdom of God in the present time. The Kingdom of God can be seen when Jesus draws us to himself, the Holy Spirit transforms our lives, empowering us to do what he says. Jesus also said, “Blessed are you who are poor; blessed are you who are persecuted for theirs is the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3, 10).” This is a promise of the here and now, not a future day to come.
We run the risk of not experiencing all Jesus is doing around us today because our eyes are fixed upon a future destination. The future is certainly full of promise but the present is, too.
The Kingdom of God can be seen in the most unexpected places each and every day.
- We can see his Kingdom every time we care for the lonely.
- We experience his Kingdom every time we empathize and pray with others.
- We observe his Kingdom every time the gospel is shared and transformation begins.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Let your kingdom come.” Yes, there is a future experience to be anticipated, but there is also a present reality to be experienced. The future Kingdom is built in every present-day act of love and ministry in the name of Jesus.
Enjoy the journey. Witness his hand at work in your life today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.