It seems that I am always reading about some kind of growth: spiritual or physical. Right now I’m reading a lot about plant growth as I anticipate planting flowers and a few vegetables in my small yard. I was reading Mark Buchanan’s book Spiritual Growth this morning and there was a
section about growth in Chapter 12 that had me pause and reflect. He wrote:
Where…is constant growth an unequivocal sign of health? In human bodies, it’s a sign of obesity or cancer. Yet we’ve applied the standard of constant growth to our churches and our spiritual lives. We applaud every sign of getting bigger, and fret every sign of getting smaller.
This is bizarre.
And it’s not the kingdom.
In the kingdom we have ups and downs. Sometimes we have very dry periods. Sometimes we reap, but many times we just sow and water, sow and water. BUT the faithful know that the kingdom is still in their midst even when they aren’t reaping.
The kingdom is sitting down and talking with a child about his drawing when you’d rather be surfing the internet. It is smiling as you pass by a coworker who just cursed you out the day before. It is leaving a little note and an extra tip to a waitress who didn’t refill your coffee because she simply had too many tables that day. It is seeing the rainbow in a sink full of bubbles as you rid the kitchen of dirty dishes for the nth time today. (I thank Ann Voskamp for that last one.) The harvest of these many “littles” may be far off or never, but they are kingdombuilding.
Mark Buchanan says “The kingdom shines through the mundane and the quotidian.” I didn’t know what quotidian was. It means “the everyday or the commonplace.” Some days we will be rewarded for our kingdom living and some days we may even be set back. The kingdom does not guarantee success as the world measures success: on getting more. Sometimes it is in dying that we get new life! We have a Savior who role-modeled that for us, didn’t we?
Have a blessed weekend,