I often perceive God’s Kingdom as a serene natural sanctuary. But sometimes, the Kingdom of God (on this earth) feels less like a peaceful sunset at the lake and more like a three-ring circus.
The lions and animals obediently follow the instructions of the Master, but you live in a respectful fear of it all going haywire. At any moment, the world as you know it can turn against you. What you once reverently admired can make your stomach turn in fear.
There’s a lot of chaos but it is well-organized madness. Bearded ladies and masked clowns draw your attention and you wonder how anyone like that belongs. The truth of the matter is that we don’t identify with them so we automatically assume they are out of place. They become something to talk about in muted conversations & whispery judgements.
Like a platform for the trapeze, God’s commands are clear but risky and there is often doubt in the hearts of men who stare at His truth. Self-righteously we might wonder, “Is this the same net that caught THAT clown?” On the flip side we may think, “What if the net breaks under the weight of what I carry?”
We focus on rules and regulations to judge ourselves and others because it distracts from the truth of Grace. Grace feels too wide a net for most of us to handle, yet too small a platform from which to jump.
At this circus, there is joy to be had and wide-eyed jubilation to be sure. But too much of a happy thing doesn’t sustain. At some point, the music dies, the lights go up, and the crowds go home. You are left with only the honest reflection in the mirror after taking off your own clown makeup.
The journey with Christ is not about painting a prettier mask, but accepting the stark reality staring back at you; recognizing that He cast that net for you...but He won’t force you to jump.