“Some things are so important”, wrote Søren Kierkegaard, “that they cannot be communicated directly.” Joy in submission is one of those things. How would Kierkegaard attempt to indirectly explain this issue? I do not know. But I am willing to attempt an impossible task of thinking in Kierkegaardian manner as I address how serving is reigning in God’s kingdom. The concept I named, ‘Joy in Submission’.
We were made to reign. We were made to reign through serving. We were made to serve. The objects to which we serve define who we are. Some objects bring intrinsic joy and life when served. Others bring despair and death. Those that bring despair and death often promise intrinsic joy and life but deliver despair and death. Fame, sex, and money are objects that often promise intrinsic joy and life. When they serve us, they do deliver what they promised. But when we serve them, they bring despair and death.
Submission, in God’s kingdom, brings intrinsic joy and life. Submission is serving. Serving is reigning. Thus reigning is submission. Submission is a way of life. It is a way of life worth living. A life worth living is a passionate life. A passionate life glorifies God by enjoying Him now and forever. Enjoying God now and forever is a passionate living that rejoices in serving God through serving others. Serving others is submission.
Submission is thinking of ourselves less and others more. Thinking of ourselves less and others more is the first act of serving. It is thus the first act of reigning. Reigning by serving. In serving reigning. Thinking of ourselves less is not thinking less of ourselves. Quite the contrary, it is thinking more of ourselves. Thinking of ourselves less is thinking more of ourselves. Thinking of ourselves less and others more is thinking of ourselves as servants and others our lords. If serving is reigning then the paradox unfolds. It is the servants, and not the lords, that reign in God’s kingdom.
Submission leads a servant from beauty into loveliness and from shadowless light into the splendour of glory. The servant beholds the world beyond. The world beyond now dawning the visible. A new world. A world whose richness is not measured by how much her citizens possess, nay, but how much they serve and adore each other. In that world, the way up is the way down and the way down is the way up. A servant is a king. A servant king.
A servant king reign by serving. Reigning by serving is a joyful living. A joyful living springs from thinking of ourselves less and others more. In such moments where we think of ourselves less and others more, we are supremely joyful. Consider the moment when a loving father meets his newborn or a wanderer sees a sunrise and feels a spark of warm sunrays on her skin after a long and dark winter. In such moments, time stops. Though the quantitative time continues, the qualitative time everlastingly stops. In those joyful moments we reign by serving. We reign through serving by submitting to the moment. Submission is joyful. Supremely joyful.