Too Big to Grasp
Some ideas are just too big to fit into our minds all at once. We can understand the meaning of the words, but not the significance. The number trillion is thrown about these days the way a billion was a few years ago, the way a million was a generation ago. You can count a million seconds in twelve days, but counting to a billion would take thirty-two years. Breathtaking, until you learn that counting to a trillion would take thirty-two thousand years…
Jesus’ concept of kingdom is like this: contradicts our worldview and experience of life so deeply that even understanding the words, the reality remains out of reach until we take the first tentative steps toward experiencing it.
As encapsulated in the Lord’s Prayer—not a prayer to be recited but an expression of the intention to live life prayerfully—we are being asked to release everything we have used to save ourselves in order to be saved by what we’ve not yet considered. That kind of vulnerability and the trust it implies are too big to grasp with our minds and must seep into our hearts by another way.
Every concept Jesus teaches is an exercise in letting go of the small container of our minds and the limitations they represent. He tells us that our Father won’t forgive us until we forgive our brother who we should forgive seventy times seven times—a Hebrew expression of forever. Are we to practice unconditional forgiveness when our Father does not? The part that is too big to grasp until experienced is that all things are one, that forgiving and being forgiven are one and the same. We will only experience being forgiven the moment we free ourselves from our own unforgiveness.
This is what makes kingdom so big, so hard to grasp.
That God has already chosen to forgive us and love us since before time began, and nothing can change that fact. Because God is love, forgiveness, and salvation, and can’t be anything else, God’s action is already complete and always has been. Against the backdrop of absolute being, our action is the only question left.
Once we’ve grasped that, the waiting is over, and kingdom is here.