“You’re not the boss of me!”
“No! I don’t want to!”
“I’ll do that later.”
The above are some comments I remember hearing from my kids during those rare times when they wanted to test the limits of my patience and see just much they could get away with and do what they wanted. Those were some tough times.
It’s beautiful later, after going through many of those parenting challenges, to have your children come to you with a very different attitude and ask you for help, guidance and information, with a sense of humility and with an understanding that, without you, they’d be in trouble.
We can be a fiercely independent and stubborn species. You can see it in our relationships with each other. You can see it in our history as a culture and as a country.
We don’t like being told what to do. We usually want to have THE voice in determining what we’ll do. And if we can’t have “the” voice, we at least want to be heard and have a voice, a vote.
So it goes without saying that we’re not king or kingdom kind of people.
A kingdom is a place where a king gets to decide what happens. That’s why our country doesn’t have a king. We like to decide what we want to do, when and if we’re ready to do it. We fought a war over this. It’s in our cultural DNA.
That’s probably what makes being a follower of Jesus a little tougher in our culture. In a culture of choice, as disciples we’re called to submit our choice, our voice, to someone else’s and chose to make them king – not just a consultant whose opinion I might consider or dismiss.
As a follower of Jesus, I willingly choose to make God my king and I understand that, if he is king, I submit to his decisions about what I should do in my life everyday and all the time.
When Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray in Matthew 6, he started his prayer with these familiar words – Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
As disciples, we invite God to come into our lives and reign as our king. We ask that his will be done in our presence and through our lives, just like it’s done in heaven. And he’s faithful and will lead us into growing his kingdom, his will in our life.
Sure, we’ll have days where our first response to God’s leadership is, “You’re not the boss of me”, but he’s also our very patient father and won’t give up on us.
And as time goes by, his Spirit will soften our hearts and we’ll go back to him for help and guidance with much humbler hearts, knowing that he does know best and that we can trust him to be our king.