I love listening to Hank Jr. I was one of those kids cruising the plaza in Mayfield with Hank blaring instead of rap. I didn't have all the bass thumping, but I didn't mind cranking up a little "Country Boy Can Survive..."
He recorded a song, and I can't for the life of me remember which one it was, but the intro has his mama and daddy talking, and his daddy says, "Audrey, if it's in him, it's got to come out. Let the boy boogie woogie." If you know which song that was, let me know. It's driving me nuts.
It never ceases to amaze me the things we have within us, sometimes they need to stay there. Sometimes they need to come out. Words slip out when that internal filter really should have caught them, and we spend a lot of time and energy trying to repair the damage. A kind word, that might really make a difference in someone's day, goes unsaid and we never know the difference it could have made. True feelings get held in between family or friends until it's too late and the conversation can be nothing by one sided, and the list goes on and on...ideas for ministry, words of forgiveness, hopes and dreams, you see where I'm going.
Scripture even talks about things being within us, and there is one thing that scripture says is within us that we might not have even realized was there. You see, this one thing that scripture is talking about being within us, most of us only see as some far off, future event. But...if you read this particular passage, that's not necessarily the case. The words are in red in my book, which means, tradition says they came out of his mouth...
..."The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Hmmm, how about that? Here we thought we had to wait for that. Evidently not so much.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I don't know exactly what it will look like, but if Christ says it is within us, then evidently we have a part to play in its appearance. I can imagine that the kingdom will mean that no one goes to bed at night hungry because we all share what we have with those who don't. I can imagine that no one will be oppressed because we have taken a stand against institutions and establishments that keep people down. I can imagine that everyone will be welcomed everywhere regardless of borders, boundaries, race, income, ethnicity, and anything else we currently use to categorize folks.
Personally, if it's in me, it's got to come out. I'm not convinced one person can make that much difference, but a whole bunch of people, letting the kingdom life that is within them come out, can make a huge difference.
So, here's the challenge...if you are a member of a body of believers, take the next month and be intentional about letting the kingdom of God within you come out. Here's what that will mean...those little things that most folks in church complain about, don't complain about them. It's a human institution and as such is flawed, that's all there is to it. If the pianist hits a wrong note, let it go. If the sermon is boring, look for something positive in it. If the person next to you is getting on your nerves, give them a hug in Christ's name. If you see someone on the side of the road this week, stop and help. Shoot someone an encouraging email or text. Pick up the phone and let someone know you were thinking about them. I can't guarantee it will take hold overnight, but eventually there will be more kingdom living on the outside than there is on the inside, and that, is a good thing. Just a thought.