Seek first the kingdom of God,..... My kingdom is not of this world.
Loud, noisy cars rushed through the changing lights, threatening our very lives. Honking, chattering, yelling, boats whistling, pubs, billboards, cafes, bikes, hundreds of pedestrians listening to ipods, the underground/above ground train swooshing through the bridge over to our side, and Joy and I thought we must be in the wrong place.
Looking for a small grave yard-where Susanna Wesley, John Bunyon and Isaac Watts were buried. Suddenly, we saw a gate. There in front of us, with a pathway through the grave yard--for walkways to and from the busyness of life, and between modern apartments--were the grave stones--some hundreds of years old-and we sought and found the very inconspicuous tombstone of the three we sought. Just a grave, small grave stone, with the years they were alive and when they died. John Bunyon had a little larger commemoration--but no mention of Pilgrim's Progress--just his name. There were no lines or tickets to see these and to remember the greatness of what they had accomplished.
These three spiritual giants, had faithfully lived their lives, influenced thousands--millions--Wesleys--to love God, start spiritual movements, (Isaac Watts--"When I survey the wondrous cross and hundreds more) to worship Him in music, (John Bunyon--15 years in prison--writing Pilgrim's progress)to stay faithful on the obstacle course of life--to build children into godly leaders--yet the evidence of their influential lives and ways they were used by God's spirit to literally change the course of their world was in no way marked or recognized--at least not in this world. So important to the world of faith, hope, love and kingdom work.
In contrast to this, Joy and I had spent two prior days in long lines spending too much money to pass by the crown jewels and marvel at the amount of gold used, diamonds, rubies, emeralds displayed in all their glory. We had seen castles from afar, clothes that royalty wore and marveled at the distance between the rich and the poor. The cathedrals we saw in England and especially in Paris, were built on the backs of the poor, who had not much food or ways to live well, but were built all glorious for the wealthy leaders who desired such places of glory.
The palaces, art museums, cafes, gardens were attended by thousands, (lots and lots of googling Americans) to observe the splendor of people whose glory was a thing of the past--yet these had had a kingdom in this world, and now they were all dead.
Whose kingdom am I building? Where am I looking for rewards? Whose glory will people look into my life to see--the things I collected or the people I influenced and the kingdom messages I left--food for thought as we have been traveling.
I so love having these days, alone with Joy, to talk to her about these great ideas, the Lord, life, messages, love and enjoying it all alone without disruption of telephone, computer, email or cooking and washing dishes. A real gift to us, planned for for years, and reaping the deep rewards of making time for our relationship--I am so blessed. Grace and peace from Austria--my seconds on the internet are now up!