As a family, we lit the advent candle at church today, read a passage from the Christmas story in Matthew. Amy led worship, always a joy, she has always called me back into worship from the beginning.

Beautiful day, but I only spent a little time outside, reading a book on Francis Asbury. About time I dug into learning more about his life as I go on to teach a class on Wesleyan Theology this next quarter.

That’s on my mind, as is a couple of commentary passages I’m supposed to edit, and a book I need to edit, and travel plans to make for my HT503 classes in Phoenix, and… well, add to the mix all the nibbling concerns that fill my mind with clutter.

In this day I also kept coming back to my thoughts of the morning, not intentionally, just part of the swirl. I realized something. Not anything new. Not really anything profound. But it was important nevertheless. I spied the source of my discontent.

It comes down to the Kingdom. I walk in many kingdoms, among which are my will, the will of the academy, the will of the church, the will of financial success.

I’m mixed in all my motives and divided in my being.

If I can find that way to really seek the Kingdom in full, as my concern, my orientating value, my constitutive desire, then I can see my way forward with joy no matter what happens.

That’s the challenge. That’s the trick.