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The kingdom of heaven is now...
Written By Bobby Schuller
"Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed...because the kingdom of God is in your midst.'" -Luke 17:20-21
The kingdom of God is not tomorrow and it's not yesterday. It's right now. It's happening right now and, too often, we live these fragmented lives, thinking about the next thing when God is with us in this very moment.
One day, I was with my wife Hannah, my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Haven, and my six-month-old son Cohen. We're at the Irvine Spectrum sitting around while the kids played nearby. While Hannah was talking to me about something, I was thinking about the many things I needed to do the next day. After an awkward silence, Hannah put her hand on my shoulder, and she said, "Bobby, do you remember when Haven was Cohen's size, when she was just a little baby?"
I said, "Gosh, it feels like it was just yesterday."
She replied, "Well, that's what Haven, today, is going to feel like in a couple years from now. And Cohen will be big. Haven will never be this small ever again and neither will Cohen. This is a special day. I don't ever want to miss out on any of this."
Instantly I thought, yes, I don't want to miss a day with my kids. I don't want to miss my daughter being a toddler and my son being a baby and only wonder, when they become teenagers, what I missed out on during their childhoods. Or wonder, when they become adults, what I missed out on when they were teenagers. I don't want to miss out on my friendships. I don't want to miss out on my grandparents before they go. I don't want to miss out on all of the gifts that God has given me because I choose not to live for today, but chose, instead, to spend my time thinking about tomorrow. I don't want to be a broken person anymore. I don't want to be fractured and fragmented, always thinking about tomorrow and not thinking about today. I want to be a whole person that is present.
In that moment, I recognized that God was there in my kids, not tomorrow in the work that I had to do. He was there with my wife. His presence was all around us and His goodness was right there.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being with me here and now...in whatever I'm doing...in whomever I'm with...in every tree or bird or cloud that surrounds me. Help me to stay focused on you in the kingdom that you've created here on earth. Amen.
Reflection: How do you experience the kingdom of heaven in your everyday life?
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"Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed...because the kingdom of God is in your midst.'"