That Sounds Fun has captivated my thoughts recently. The host, Annie F. Downs, is the author of several books and the inspiration behind the tremendous podcast. She’s successful and highly regarded, not to mention hilarious. But she’s also ordinary; you can just tell.
This afternoon, I listed to Annie’s conversation with Jamie Ivey. They talked about what it means to be a Kingdom-builder. “I ask myself,” Annie said, “Is this Kingdom-building? And if it isn’t, I stop doing it.”
I heard those words, and my fingers hesitated on the keyboard; my eyes stopped skimming the website on my monitor. Was this Kingdom-building? Yes. I was doing my job just then. But what about the rest of my life?
We’ve all been told to do the right thing, make the right choices, pursue what honors God. Those things are all true, and we certainly need to hear them. But they’re also stale, and that’s why Annie’s comment gave me pause. Somehow, the mental image of building a Kingdom is so different than choosing to do the right thing… and yet it isn’t, at all. They’re one and the same.
Years ago, my dad renovated our first-floor bathroom. While the project was yet complete, he taped a sign to the door: “Kingdom restoration in progress.” Sure, he was referring to the bathroom. I know my dad, though; he intended a double meaning. The sign was a visual reminder of the very real work all Christians are called to: Stewarding our corner of the earth while we’re here… which translates directly into heavenly Kingdom-building.
Somehow, Annie’s off-hand comment and the memory of my dad’s bathroom renovation fill me with fresh zeal. I can choose to be a Kingdom-builder each day, from the first cup of coffee to the afternoon meeting to the late-night phone conversation with my mom. I can use my strengths to further a team effort at work, cook dinner for friends and enjoy the sunset while I take a walk.
And what about when the project goes down in flames, plans change, and it’s pouring down rain? The goal remains the same. Build His Kingdom; allow Heaven and Earth to touch by obeying God. For me, that means choosing patience and taking a step back from the problems to find a solution. Or simply allowing myself to be disappointed, but not utterly discouraged.
All of these things are Kingdom-building because they all amplify God’s glory. I’m doing my utmost to restore and steward the bit of life God has blessed me with, no matter the circumstances. That’s the right response to His daily grace. (Kingdom-building is very closely tied to the hope of Heaven, actually. Go read Ephesians if you want to see for yourself.)
Be a Kingdom-builder today, my friend. Restore and steward what He has given you.