We long for more and more….we long for whats new, improved, popular. We want the latest and the greatest. We build our lives with more stuff invading every part of us. With our worldly kingdoms, comes debt, guilt, materialistic attitudes, envy and jealousy. Our worldly kingdoms growing in material things, but yet never quite satisfied so we build more. The yearnings never quenched.
We buy more for the house, buy a bigger house, new car, more things for the kids to play with. New phones, laptops, pads, a new kitchen table, new lawn pieces. Our Kingdom seems to almost be as good as the one our neighbors are building next door, but we’re just not quite there yet.
We measure success with zeros on the paycheck, degrees and letters next to our name. Does it all really matter? At the end of the day that graduate degree is just a piece of paper. The letters to distinguish our name only really just letters. We build success by hours at the office or the type of office we sit in day after day or a higher income earning than Joe down the street.
Any of this resonate with you? It has been on my mind a lot lately. I have questioned what type of Kingdom I am building myself. All this came to mind as I was running one morning. I ran through a neighborhood where I used to nanny while back in graduate school. A neighborhood with big houses and fancy cars. There was this old man that lived on the corner with the park as his front yard. It was a beautiful, yet cozy blue cottage style house with just enough brick. I always admired the house.
The man would often times be out in his yard, tending to the plants and flowers. I would make small talk whenever I passed by on my way to pick up the kids I nannied from school. He was always so sweet. I believe his wife had passed on before he had, but he still tended the yard and the house. It always looked so nice.
On my run this particular morning nearly 4 years later, upon passing his home, it was starkly different. The yard was torn up, the house in near shambles. It was run down, covered in dust and dirt. Trees were uprooted and it looked like it was about to be torn down. I couldn’t help but think about the little elderly gentleman. “Did he have no one to leave his house too? All his hard work tending to the house and yard, and now look at it!” As if it was all for nothing. It tormented me for days, and I was saddened by it all. The house seemed to have lost all it’s life.
The years he put into building this little kingdom of his, his home, and in an instant it’s all gone. It’s left to rumble and dust. Was it worth it? What would he say now? What’s left of him?
Our lives are much the same way. What are we spending hours on building? And is it worth it? It’s not to say that we shouldn’t take care of the home we have, our yard, our car and our things. But are we investing so much into it, we are only building a worldly kingdom and not a heavenly one? Are we letting it consume us? All the things of this world will pass away and what is left……..dust.
What are we leaving behind? Are we only leaving behind the dust from our over-sized house, the clutter, our envious paycheck, stress, chaos? We can’t take any of this world with us, nor anything in this world with us. This world and all that is in it passes…..and I asked myself, what’s left……
I’ve spent too much time building an earthly kingdom. Seeking the best, weighing my success by the size of my house, model of car and number on my paycheck. All this leaves me beaten down and broken, feeling like I’ve failed. I’ve realized that this earthly kingdom is a waste of my time, because it doesn’t go with me when I die.
There’s hope…..I shifted from building an earthly kingdom to building a heavenly kingdom. I’ve shifted in all areas of my life. We can build a heavenly kingdom here on earth, and it begins with loving people, praying for people and having an eternity driven mindset. It begins with holding fast to His truths and seeking His will for our life.
At my job, the numerous one’s I currently have, I’ve made a point to bless every minute of the work I do. I bless the people I work with, work for and my competitors. I bless every client I have and I try to pray for each person when I think of them. I know I can be and do better. My motivation is a heavenly kingdom…..leaving an imprint on each person’s life so that they know the Love of God. So they know their worth and value.
As a mom, I pray for my children. I pray for grace and mercy, continuously, to raise them and teach them. I bless each hour I have with them and I pray that God multiple my time. My children don’t deserve a big house and lots of toys, they deserve love, truth and grace. They deserve a heavenly kingdom, not a worldly one.
At the end of the day, that only thing that goes with us when we pass are people. Our family, our friends, the neighbor down the street with the new Mercedes, the rude customer service representative at Verizon, the clerk at the bank. I have to ask myself, did I leave an imprint on them? Do they know God’s love by just speaking with me? Did I build a heavenly kingdom today? Or did I build an earthly one?
As for the little man, I never found out what became of him. But I’ll remember his warm smile, his hard work and the cozy little house he labored over. He left an imprint on me, as I watched him honor what he had. I do hope that he spent more time building his heavenly kingdom, because in the end that’s all that matters.
When this world passes, the question will be made, “What kingdom did you build? Whose life did you impact?” The question is never: “How big was your paycheck? What year was your car? How many houses did you own? Were you a doctor, lawyer, investor, fortune 500 company? Are you married with kids? How big was your donation to fight cancer last year?”
It’s more important the size of your heart than the size of your wallet. It’s more important the people you saved and impacted, then the number of investors you gained, or the number of Instagram followers you have. You can be a lawyer or a stay-at-home mom and have just as much success and influence as the other. We can all build our kingdoms at any season of our lives, in any house, at any job. I want my children to look back on my life and know I impacted them and others. To remember my heart, not my net worth.
The question is not how big is your kingdom, rather it’s where is you kingdom centered & what is you kingdom centered on.
My kingdom is center on God and it’s centered in Heaven.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit