The Unshakable Kingdom
No one believed Chicken Little when he said it, but the truth is the sky falls. If the literal sky has not come tumbling down, our personal skies are forever crashing and plummeting. Our identities, our kingdoms, our power structures, our relational ties, our strengths, and our hopes - they are all victim to being shaken - to falling down - to being disturbed.
Created things - that is: Anything Man Made or Temporary - are all subject to being obliterated. How can we thrive in a world that is constantly falling down? How do we build foundations when our skies fall? How do we place a footing when our kingdoms are always shaking, our identities are constantly moving, and our belonging is never etched in stone?
The shaking is the most disorienting thing a person can experience in this lifetime. It is when your goals and priorities are put into question. It is when self-doubt creeps in your soul in a damaging and debilitating manner. The shaking is particularly difficult when we have invested much time and energy in the things that fall. During our times of shaking, we find that some things take longer to "come off." Some of our strongest identities, most compelling sins, and deepest anxieties don't come tumbling down - these are reserved for the pure ripping apart. The shaking loosens these things a bit - but the way they fully come undone is by being purged, ripped, and desperately detached from us. They don't have a way of naturally falling - they are painfully grabbed from us. This detaching causes the sleepless nights, the painful heartache, and the feeling that you are losing love.
Some shaking is simple - like silly or awkward relationships that are to be removed from your life. They can also include a career path that you never truly loved anyway. This shaking feels great. You are renewed. However when our skies fall, we are not talking about this. We are talking about the skies that we held to be true our entire life. Like the sky of our personality or our gifts. Our talents. Our callings. Our weaknesses that we never wanted to deal with because no one held us accountable. Our secret closets that no one cared to interfere with. These skies hurt so much, that the best way to deal with them is to keep them buried. But in a world of temporary, shakable kingdoms, they are bound to come up in some form - they are bound to rear their temporary head. Anything ephemeral will show itself short-lived. If you think sleeping around with different people is amazing, the emptiness will come - maybe not now, but it will come - and when it comes, it will be in the form of a dark loneliness that you never thought imaginable. If you think life is about generating acclaim and esteem from those around you, your sky will fall heavily. You will soon grow so weary of yourself, and you will grow numb to all forms of affirmation. It's not lonely at the top - it's just lonely if you are a douche-bag.
Then there is the next level. These are the skies that are righteous and good. These are the things that are close and dear to your heart - like your calling - like your noble attempts at helping this world. They are the things that you thought a "supposed God" would use in your life. You thought God would give you the guidance and strength to execute His perfect plan by using you. You thought you would be at the center of His will. How could this sky fall? Why would it? After all, it is with a pure heart. It is with pure intentions. It is with God's Creating - why would these fall as well?
In our human hearts, we have the propensity to make idols with the same thing that we make bread. We use wood to keep us warm, and build fires that cook our food - we then take this wood and build gods. We build shrines. We worship them. Then we worship ourselves. When God gives us a gift, our initial inclination is not to give it back to Him. We consider ourselves one of the lucky herdsmen and go bury it. We protect it and build our foundations on it. We tell the world about it and we want everyone to associate ourselves with it. Slowly but surely, it becomes a sky filled with our own ugliness and pollution. It becomes a sky that creates storms that we cannot contain. This too will fall. This too is temporary. If these things are not used to build an altar to the the living God, they will fall. They will shake and come tumbling down so hard, that we can lose hope forever. We can lose our footing completely.
The shaking is good. It is full of God's justice. It is full of equity. It is fair, and it is complete. It is full of kindness, mercy, and steadfast love. It may not feel like it, but it is the best thing that can happen to you. There is something mysteriously amazing about the shaking: When your skies fall, some things don't. Some things remain - unshaken, unfazed, unbroken, and fully in piece. Some of these things actually get stronger. They harness themselves in a way that gets deeper rooted. They get deeper in footing and foundation. These things are a part of the UNSHAKABLE KINGDOM.
We soon realize that everything that fell and everything that we lost, was so that the unshakable kingdom could become brighter and take its full course in our life. Things fall off so the things that are forever can come into full picture. People leave, so your soulmate can arrive. Jobs disappear so your calling can take root. Friendships deteriorate so the lasting bonds between your true kin can take full form. Material success loses its appeal, so your taste for eternity is re-sensitized. This is the unshakable kingdom. The glorious kingdom that we were truly meant to live for. At the head of this Kingdom is a Creator who stops at nothing to give you everything you ever desired. When you pray in this Kingdom, the Mountains move. When you eat in this Kingdom, you are satisfied. When you are depressed in this Kingdom, Love consoles you. When you cry in this Kingdom, you will be rescued. When you are lonely in this Kingdom, you will be comforted. This Kingdom is eternal. It understands the temporary and loves people to the eternal. It loves enough to engage in discomfort. It allows for dissatisfaction until the precious comes to light.
The Unshakable Kingdom is beyond the sky. It knows no bounds. So when the world says the "sky is the limit," you can give them a friendly nod of disapproval. The nod is because you love them, and the disapproval is because you know better. The sky is not the limit. The sky will fall. The sky is not immortal. It will give way to the Unshakable Kingdom - the Kingdom that we were always meant for. Allow everything to shake. That which remains will never leave or forsake you. Peace, and much love to you - Jeevo.