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Family Matters: “Solid”

December 27, 2016

Somehow, I have managed to start out late for work. I had forgotten about that snow alert. A sheet of hardened ice covers my car like a white tablecloth. Muttering something under my breath, I turn on the defrosters and slip into the driver’s side.

I look at the frosty rear window as a little hole in the ice is beginning to appear. Hmmm: A distorted view of the past. This is called “depression”. Living too much in the past is a “major depression”.

I try to look through the front window. Hard to see clearly through all of those ice crystals. We can have a distorted view of the future as well. This is called “anxiety”. Being overwhelmed by fears of the future is called “panic”.

Then I find myself, as I often do, thinking of Jesus. The hallmark of his life among us was the concept of the “Kingdom of God”. He locates it in four specific realms:

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS HERE: This is the function of place and suggests a life lived more in the present than the past or future. The kingdom of God is present with us. ”I am with you always”, he promised. Here rather than there.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOW: This is the function of time. Jesus spoke often of a “time” that has now arrived in his coming and a Kingdom that will last forever. When is the time to live in the Kingdom of God? Now, of course.

THE KINDGOM OF GOD IS ALWAYS: This is the function of duration. As we locate ourselves in the immediacy of the here and now, there is a never-ending quality about it as we move forward. How long does this last? Forever, actually. Forever.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS FOR EVERYONE: This is the function of scope. In societies, then as now, which pits one group against another, who gets included in this new kingdom? Everyone, Jesus proclaims with a blend of fierceness and loving-kindness in his every word and deed. “Whosoever will, may come.” Even “you know who”!

Then I remember the engraved words on a memorial bench in the park where I walk: “The place to be happy is here; the time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so.”

So, my brief meditation is over. I glance in the rear-view mirror to see if the way is clear. Then, looking forward, step slowly on the gas, careful not to run into my neighbor’s new Lexus. The wheels slip a bit, then seem to find a solid traction of their own, and I am off to face my day, my work, my calling to do some small part for the kingdom: Here. Now. Always. For everyone. Solid.

George I. Bustard, Jr., Pastoral Counselor

“Family Matters” is a community service presented by The Center for Pastoral Counseling.
For further information call CPC at 610-544-1400, ext. 308.

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