Most of the time the door to my office stays open. It’s something I have been counseled on throughout the years (sometimes painfully), and I understand the sentiment. An open door communicates accessibility and welcome — 2 things that are essential in a job like mine. And while it’s an open avenue for interruptions, it’s also a lifeline to the rest of the world and to what’s really important.
But I must admit, there are times when I love to close the door. Some days the introverted portion of my brain takes over and I just need to shut the world out for a little while. Because when that door is shut, it’s just me and my work. It’s a place where I control my time and effort. No interruptions or distractions. I don’t have to share. I get my way.
It’s like my own little kingdom.
Do you have a place like this? A place where you retreat to in order to recharge? Maybe for you it’s a man-cave or your car or even your cell phone. But I have a feeling that we all seek these places out. They are cocoons where our way rules and things are as we please. And for the most part they are harmless ways that we navigate the world.
But there is something deviously attractive about feeling in control. About being in charge.
Which is why a simple little phrase of Jesus can be so dangerous to our lives. In what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer”, Jesus prays:
“Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”
– Matthew 6:10
These words have become so familiar to us that we can speak them without realizing their impact. What seems like a harmless phrase is actually a dangerous plea that can be harmful to your chosen life.
It is a appeal that God’s kingdom to be more than some remote place that we can admire from a afar. For it be to be greater than something we sing songs about, gaze upon from a distance and return to our normal existence.
It is a request that God’s kingdom be real. Right now. In this place. In my life.
Which means that I am asking for God to get his way. With everything. His way in my job and in my leisure. His way with my money and my time. His way with my words and my thoughts.
Because the simple fact is that his kingdom is usually at odds with my own. The two often clash and grind against one another and throw off sparks. I like my kingdom because I like my own way. And it’s not like my will and desires are often evil. But they can be selfish. Or rude. Or blind to the needs of others.
This prayer is dangerous because it always pulls and stretches me outside of my comfort zone. It can grind away at the parts of my personality that need some refining. These words are constantly pulling me forward, asking me to grow, straining against the confines of my own limitations.
This prayer makes me wrestle with God like Jacob did; and I so often come away limping.
But also like Jacob, I always find that on the other side of the battle I walk away blessed. I always find the better path. Maybe not the smoother or easier one, but the better way nonetheless.
It’s a dangerous plea, but leads to an amazing journey.
So may we be courageous today. May we pray this dangerous plea together. May we gear up for battle with a God whose kingdom will clash with ours. May God’s kingdom be real and present in your life today.
And may we all see the blessing from such a dangerous request.