The culture of Heaven and God’s Kingdom is a culture of sanity. It is a culture of sane, rhythmic living that is above and below all else characterized by Love. It is a culture that is not fear driven, but directed by what gives and sustains Life. It is a culture completely free of panic and disorder. It is a culture free of distraction, a culture that cultivates focus, present, and full experience. It is a culture of listening, receiving, and being known. It is like an immaculately tended garden. Every element is known and cared for according to its own needs and nature. Every element is carefully chosen and placed with an eye for its inherent beauty and the way it enhances the beauty of the whole.
The culture of Heaven and God’s Kingdom is a culture of patience without the pressure of need for immediate gratification. Craftsmanship and the long, intensive labour it requires flourishes in the society that does not hurry production, but loves the labour as much as the result. It is not a society of hurry, frantic driven need for results or sensation, or a lust for speed. All things are now and all that is now is abundance. Relationships are full. Full of love, full of recognition, full of good will, grace and presence. In the Kingdom of Heaven, Time is not running out because we live in Eternity – the continuous present moment. There is no end coming there, only more Life “every chapter better than the one before“. Life becoming more full, love becoming deeper, laughter becoming richer, fellowship becoming sweeter, skill becoming greater, beauty becoming brighter, understanding becoming more complete, goodness becoming stronger.
The culture of Heaven and God’s Kingdom is a culture of peace and all that peace produces – every art, craft, word, deed, interaction based in peace and in trust. No fear, no anxiety, no rumours of war, no threat of danger, no striving to prevail over another, no seeking advantage over someone else, no backbiting, gossip, or fear of being misunderstood, no accusations. In that prevailing peace, the culture of Heaven and the Kingdom, is a society debt-free. No one owes anyone else anything but the debt of Love, and that is fully and freely given. No one is afraid of each other. Imagine what that culture is like.
It is not only possible to cultivate the qualities of Heaven where we are, it is in fact our calling. To cultivate the society of Heaven in the midst of this world is what it means to build the Kingdom. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” We are meant to be actively engaged in this every day. It is our heritage and our birthright as citizens of Heaven not just for later in a new world where everything is right but in this present hour where sometimes it feels like everything is wrong. Today in this very hour we can choose to breathe in the sanity and peace of Heaven and breathe out something of its beauty, its goodness, its truth. Today I can make that choice of how I will live, by whose rules I will be ruled. Today I can choose to be chained to the shadows, or willfully recognise that I can in fact live beyond them. Choose this Day.
Lancia E. Smith is an author, photographer, teacher, and business owner. A grateful lover of the Triune God, Lancia is passionate about disciple making. Reflecting an irresistible calling to the intersection of faith and the arts, she is the Founder and Executive Director of Cultivating, and of The Cultivating Project, a discipling initiative for Christians engaged in the arts. She is President and CEO of a thriving environmental consulting and construction firm based in northern Colorado which she runs with her husband Peter. They are parents to seven children, and are grandparents to a beloved flock of grandchildren. An inveterate book collector and giver, Lancia loves website and garden design, beautiful typography, David Austin roses, Marvel movies, road trips and being read aloud to by Peter. She cherishes every book she ever read by C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George MacDonald.