Monday, April 23, 2012

Not So Sure I am Fit for the Kingdom After All

What follows is a poem of sorts where I wrestle with the frustrating ambiguity and annoying uncontrolability of the King and His Kingdom.  As we discover in Narnia, Aslan comes and goes as He pleases because He is not a tame lion.  This is my attempt to tame Him and His refusal to be tamed.

- - - -

The Kingdom of Leaven? No Thanks.

You say that faith
    is the stuff of mustard seeds
That the Kingdom of Heaven
    is the Kingdom of Leaven

No thanks

I want faith that
  is the stuff of concrete
                     of buildings
                       of billboards
                         of measurable results
                          of awards
                            of the evening news

Please just give me a Kingdom
    that actually looks like a Kingdom

You come to us with stories
    No thanks, I'd like some answers
You present us with a dirt path
        a winding, rocky, endless path
   No thanks, I'd prefer an academy degree

You tell me "It is finished"
   yet, with a smirk
You say to me it is still under construction

You tell me that I have been and forever am perfected
   yet, with a smirk
You say to me that there's a lot left to be done

No thanks

I want to taste what is promised
    I don't want to walk what is demanded

If it is already,
    let it be already, already!
If it is not yet
    let me be in my notyetness

Which one shall I accept
    already or not yet?
In some muddled parable I think
    you said yes with a wink

Or... may it was no
    Either way, I might add

No thanks

Can I introduce you, please
   to my microwave
    to my wi-fi
     to my drive-thru
   to Hollywood
    to magazine covers
     to 22-minute sitcoms
   to medication
    to liposuction 
     to lazer hair removal 
   to overnight millionaires 
    to online degrees
     to all the secrets of passing the MAT?

"No Thanks"

Can I introduce you, kindly 
   in the paper on my wall
    in a mp3 of my last sermon
     in some of the materials I have written
   in some photos of my mission trips
    in the names of those I have influenced
     in a few quote from my admirers 
   in a conversation about all that I know
    in a discussion about my library 
     in some evidence of my great superiority?

"No Thanks"

"You keep praying to me saying, 'your will be done'
    You keep entreating, 'your kingdom come'
        You keep insisting that this happens 'on earth'"

"I know you're not sure what you expect that to mean
    Just know it is much different than what will be
        And I am answering you anyway"

You say, 
  imagination 
I say, 
  goals

mystery
  definition

hope
  clarity

subtlety
  product

process
  result

messiness
  answers

poetry
  propositions

art
  reason

invitation
  control  

"The Kingdom of Leaven can be yours
    the religion of seeds is at hand
To live, you will have to die
    when dead you'll finally be alive
To know, you'll have to get lost
    when displaced you'll finally be home"

"If you are willing, follow me"

"But if you want answers
    and systems
       and structures
          and rules
              and control
You'll just have to follow you"

No thanks!

Help me 
  to be at peace in the mess
    to rest comfortably in the sanctifying process
      to be content with the Wind blowing as it pleases
        to wander as a citizen of the Kingdom of Leaven.

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