It used to be that kings ruled the earth. Their word was the law. Anyone who disobeyed the king was punished, not too rarely by death. One who earned the king’s favor was given great honors, lands and titles. Today, kings are mostly gone. The few remaining are largely ceremonial and symbolic of everything that a nation holds noble and dear. But the idea of kings still evokes power and the ability to make things happen. Who is the King in my life? Who rules over me? What drives me in my life?
I have admired, hero-worshipped and followed many in my life: a friend who cared deeply, a boss who managed wisely, a colleague who always helped willingly, famous people who inspired greatly. But they always disappointed. Somehow, I always expected something more, someone better and a relationship more durable and dependable.
Like, love has always inspired me and has moved me to make the most important decisions in my life. It is easy and wonderful to love those who are good to me, those who think and behave like me, and when the going is great. But someone taught me that love is more than just nice feelings and comforting hugs and kisses. Can I love even those who dislike or even hate me, those who would make my life miserable, those who would take away what I cherish most? Can I love even when I am down and dejected, when things are not going my way, when life seems to be one disaster after another? Can I love even when loving means giving up what I enjoy, or when I have to sacrifice, or even give up life and happiness itself for the sake of others? There is one man who taught me that. I want him to be the king in my life.
Like, much of my life has been about additions and acquiring things. I started out in life just wishing for a happy family with good food to celebrate happy occasions, good books to read leisurely, and good music to listen to. Along the way, these simples needs were corrupted to become enslaving wants. The food became more lavish and laden with fats and calories. The books became an obsession to possess the latest best-sellers, many of which I bought but often did not have time to read. The music became a compulsion to collect tapes and CDs of all the artists I liked. And my simple life became rather complicated. Someone led me to realize that I can have a happier and more meaningful life by subtractions and by giving to others rather than acquiring things for myself. Can I live with less food, giving up one meal every now and then like once a month or once a week? Can I deny myself one pleasure and give what I have saved to others? And do this charity anonymously? Can I spend moments in solitude and silence instead of feeding myself with some brain candy? There is one man who led me to realize all of these. I want him to be the king in my life.
“He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” . . . .
“If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” . . . .
“This is the King of the Jews.” . . . .
“Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” . . . .
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” . . . .
He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”