Almost eight years ago, I got rid of an entire apartment’s worth of things, packed my whole life up into two duffle bags, and boarded a plane from Sydney, Australia, to the great unknown of New Orleans, Louisiana. I had a grand total of $400, and a huge sense of optimism as I left to start my new life on the other side of the world with a man I had known for six months. After thirty-six hours of airports and five different flights, I saw New Orleans for the first time at 2 am on October 18th, 2006, which was still devastated from Hurricane Katrina.
My birth into the kingdom of God happened a little bit quicker, as I knelt by my bed on March 3rd, 2008, just nine days before my 23rd birthday, four months pregnant with my second child. There had been no airports or flights, or concerns about money; however the process to get me to the point of actually entering the kingdom of God took, well, 23 years. So I got new life that day in March 2008, entered a new world, was a new creation, although I didn’t have much concept of any of that, even though I’d grown up in a conservative fundamentalist Christian family.
There was, and sometimes still is, culture shock for me as I assimilate into life in America, and the same goes for the kingdom of God. The thing is, it’s supposed to be a culture shock to enter the kingdom of God, life is supposed to be different, it’s supposed to go against the ways I used to do things, because it’s new and it’s a different way of life, just like living in America is vastly different from life in Australia. I didn’t fully realize that day that I knelt and gave my life to Jesus that I was entering the kingdom of God, I wasn’t expecting the culture shock really because I’d been a seeker of God my whole life and had actually thought I was a Christian, with serious doubts on and off for many years.
Lately I have been seeing just how different the kingdom of God is from the world. In the kingdom of God the greatest law is to love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself. In God’s kingdom I am supposed to walk in the spirit rather than the flesh. While I understood that things changed when I became a Christian, it wasn’t until recently that I began to understand that I had a change of citizenship on this earth also. I knew I was supposed to go to heaven when I die, but I never understood my new citizenship here, and how it was supposed to change how I live in the here and now. I will be exploring the kingdom of God topic a whole lot more hopefully in the upcoming weeks.