It’s Here. Seriously. (By Rick Diamond)
i have been sitting for days with what used to be, for me, an abstract cool theological concept. but now it’s becoming a more concrete, real-life paradigm. it’s the suggestion that when jesus is talking about what is translated for us into english as “the kingdom of god” or “the kingdom of heaven,” jesus’ language is actually suggesting that the thing jesus was talking about was – and is – in the immediate, as well as in the idealized future.
it’s been for years now something i have taught, encouraging people to question what their faith is about. is it going to church, doing nice things, taking following jesus really seriously, heaven after we die in the sky by and by, etc. and then, since being part of journey imperfect faith community, it’s become even more immediate to me – the kingdom of god/heaven is to be built in the here and now. not a good idea – but a real thing to be worked toward, together. by feeding the hungry and learning to forgive and creating safe community. that’s been a quantum leap for me and other journeyers. and we’re finding lots of people are learning and doing the same thing, all over the place.
but this week, and in the last few days, something else is happening in me. maybe it’s a result of all of it together, i don’t know. the sabbatical i took, the death of my mother, my turning 50, the letting go of what happens to jifc and my role there, more self-awareness about my personality type/s and what my fears and gifts are, more therapy, more men’s work, more soul work ——– but this is different.
seriously. right now. this is the kingdom of god. the community of god. the presence of god.
this is god at work. it is present.
an acquaintance of mine drives me crazy. and it really is a gift for me. like, not just as a lesson – it is a gift. it gives me awareness about myself and what i’m scared of and don’t want. it teaches me patience and compassion. it invites me to let go. i feel freedom. even in the middle of being driven crazy.
i’m procrastinating about something. and it really is a gift for me. like, not just as a lesson – it is a gift. it gives me awareness about myself and what i’m scared of and don’t want. it teaches me patience and compassion. it invites me to let go. i feel freedom. even in the middle of procrastinating and worrying about it.
i’m not sure if i’m explaining this well – i’m not sure it’s possible. this is a soul awareness that i don’t know how to share. except to say that i’m convinced that the thing jesus and all the great teachers and prophets in all the spiritual traditions have been trying to share with us … is … it’s here. it’s here. we have it. already.
if we don’t see it or feel it, that doesn’t mean it’s not here already. and it doesn’t mean we won’t see it or feel it. i may not see it or feel it right now.