Finding the Kingdom of God

Written By Renée Miller

Jesus said that if we seek first the Kingdom of God, everything else will be given to us. (Matthew 6:33) The Kingdom of God is not some state of being or geographical location that we will encounter at some point in future time. When Jesus sent his disciples out to minister, he told them to heal the sick and say that the Kingdom of God had come near to them. (Luke 10:9) In other words, the Kingdom of God was to be found in the moment, in the action that was happening right then.

Jesus wanted the disciples to live the Kingdom of God not simply proclaim some hopefully-in-the-future state of paradise. When we are able to find the kingdom of God in the present moment, we have the opportunity to dwell in peace. We have the opportunity to become still from all the anxiety, chaos, fear, and worry that wind tight around us. We have the opportunity to find the happiness that is always available to those who dwell in the nearer presence of the Holy One.

The question, of course, is, "How should we go about seeking first the kingdom of God so that everything else will be given to us?" Trying to answer that question often leads us down the path of thinking that there are formulas, rituals, to-do lists, strategic plans, secret signs that will need to be accomplished if we ever hope to reach the open clearing at the end of the path. Actually, in Thich Nhat Hanh’s words, we learn that there are no formulas, rituals, to-do lists, strategic plans, or secret signs:

There is only being present to the Kingdom of God in the moment through mindfulness. Using the images of everyday activities like washing dishes or making tea, he shows that the conditions for our happiness are available to us right here, right now.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said that there was little point in wanting to go to Calcutta to serve the poor if you couldn’t smile at your own spouse. She wanted to show that the possibility of dwelling happily in the Kingdom of God isn’t found by planning to do some arduous work in a far off place, but to be present to that kingdom right here, right now.

Truly we don’t need to search for the Kingdom of God, if searching is understood as undertaking a program of planned action. Truly, we don’t need to search for what we lack, if that is understood as finally procuring what will make us feel happy. For truly, the Kingdom of God and everything else that is to be given to us is present to us right here, right now.