“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy, went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matthew 13:44
The Kingdom of God is within you, Jesus says, as
he suggests that making him the King of all our minutes
and activities is treasure worth trading everything for. It’s like
being in constant radio contact with Jesus, placing yourself
in the torrent of his love and wisdom and the power of his Spirit.
It’s promised deep peace, even amid direness, because we know
God’s power and goodness. It’s the Holy Spirit teaching us all
things, guiding our work and financial affairs, guidance that’s
brilliant, timesaving, and (a fringe benefit!) often economically beneficial.
Trading everything to follow Jesus, who said he’d live in us, as
a vine floods its branches, will, like literally selling everything
we own, take time. It happens inch by inch until the Spirit and Jesus
and his power and glory gradually invade every square inch of our lives.
And, progressively, everything will shift–the way we work, our
family relationships, friendships, what we read and watch,
the time we spend on exercise, diets, and food preparation,
on maintaining our homes and gardens, on prayer and scripture reading,
on church activities and volunteering, on social media and the news.
Some of us will spend less time on these things; others will spend more,
for we are each created with a unique shape and purpose and calling.
And what am I trading to live more in Jesus’s Kingdom? Well, Rick Warren,
of The Purpose-Driven Life, suggests that those who want to change
anything should begin by changing their bodies. So I am walking and
running while praying and listening to Scripture, gradually increasing mileage
so I don’t regain the 82 pounds I had lost. And I’m prioritising
decluttering and bringing order and beauty to my home and garden
while getting my goal steps and burning my goal calories.
It’s costly to follow Jesus, for sure, but far, far costlier to decide not to,
and instead chase what Tim Keller calls “counterfeit Gods:” “money,
the seduction of success, the power and the glory,” to climb
a cruel ladder which has no end and never satisfies for long.
Bill Bright, founder of Cru, describes his surrender to Christ
as abandoning his puny little plans, and embracing God’s
magnificent plans. Once done, he said, the future seemed brighter
than ever. As we invite Jesus into each square inch of our lives,
he promises that the things the unbelieving world runs after
will also be added to us. May it be so. Amen.
If you’d like to read my previous recorded meditations, they are here.
And, of course, I would love you to read my memoir, fruit of much “blood, sweat, toil and tears.”
Rosaries, Reading, Secrets: A Catholic Childhood in India in the UK, and in the US, here, well, and widely available, online, worldwide 🙂