Quietly Seeking the Kingdom is written by Candace Landry, Guest Blogger
A few weeks ago, Zechariah and I took a walk down the canal near our home. It was a crisp autumn afternoon, and while the wind was cool, the sun felt warm on our faces. As we strolled down the dirt path, I was struck by the reflection of this tree in the still water of the canal. The stillness and the reflection reminded me of a William Butler Yeats quote I came across when Matt and I visited Ireland several years ago. This quote hangs on the wall in our bedroom.
Yeats wrote, “We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.”
The first time I read the quote my thoughts instantly went to my grandfather. He was a man of faith who helped his family live fiercely by walking humbly and quietly. In a loud, chaotic world, my grandfather held authority because of his stillness. I, too, have often been called quiet. Though, I don’t think the people saying it meant it as a compliment. In a world that chases after the next bright thing, the value of quiet strength is not often recognized.
Somewhere in our history, the modern church traded in the quiet power of stillness for the flashy attention that noise brings with it. Oh church, you are called to lead a life of prayer, but have you become one more gonging cymbal?
This Advent, I am committing time to sit in the quiet. I am asking for forgiveness for the times my life looks and sounds too much like the world. I am asking for courage to speak the words that need to be spoken. But most of all, I am asking for eyes to see, and ears to hear, for it is only by the grace of God that I am able to seek the Kingdom.
A pastor friend of mine often says, what you are looking for you will probably find. If you are looking for differences or anger or the next Facebook fight, it will be easy to find. But the kingdom is like a mustard seed, or yeast, or a lost coin, seemingly small and easy to miss, but of great importance to those who know its true value.
You and I cannot make others see the world in the way we see the world. We can, however, live in such a way that we reflect the love and grace we know, and by living it others “may see, it may be”.
In the coming days and years, the world needs Kingdom seekers not just church builders. People who will do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly regardless of whether they can build bigger buildings or grow their program budget. People who will look for the small and the insignificant. People who will remember that Christ says our strength comes not through military victory or financial success, but through lowering ourselves, through washing feet and breaking bread. People who will listen to the stories others are waiting to tell.
This Advent, may we quiet our being, so that we and others may receive a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.