What does it look like for me to be a citizen today? Here are my thoughts....
I am a Christian. Therefore I am a citizen of The Kingdom of God. This citizenship is vastly different from being a citizen of the UK. I am not simply another piece of a puzzle, which when complete, depicts a desperate search to find meaning in the meaningless. Instead, I have a purpose which overrides my circumstances and supersedes self interest. I am here to share the completeness I have found in Christ through loving people.
This is not easy for me!
Primarily, my citizenship is a battle against a fear of revealing and expressing my true identity to those around me. Fear pushes me away from the unknown and difficult situations - towards the known and being comfortable. A fearful me labels myself as a colleague, friend, brother or a son, but I am a citizen of God before all of these. I may end up being a 'nice colleague', a 'fun friend' and a 'loyal brother and son' but I have missed the point and self interest will suffocate God's will. If I am to fulfill my duties and responsibilities as a citizen of God I must apply my earthly roles through my heavenly citizenship.
Rejection of fear and therefore acceptance of citizenship is a daily challenge for me. It happens when God is my best friend that day and we're talking. It's then when I look beyond the stuff 'I need to do' and beyond my own desires – and seek his. What does it look like for me to be a citizen today?
1) I stop splitting my time into neat compartments and rigidly sticking to tasks which I need to or want to do. Citizenship is flexibility, spontaneity and availability.
2) I ask my friends questions which push a conversation in a spiritual direction. Citizenship is boldness.
3) I stop checking my bank balance every day. Citizenship is unmeasured generosity.
4) I stop making my house my castle. Citizenship is an open door.
This is what it looks like for me to be a citizen today. It’s messy and uncomfortable, but it’s better than looking for meaning in the meaningless.
James is 28 and born and bred in East London. He is part of the Awaken community in London. He has a job and has hobbies – they just aren’t that important.