christians often speak of the "kingdom of God," and the term has different meaning to individual christians. many think of it as a synonym for heaven, the reward for those who have been "saved" once the earthly life has come to an end. others think of it as the future earthly kingdom of the messiah when he comes again to rule the earth. as christians pray the "lord's prayer," we say "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
i wonder if the kingdom of God is not an idealized picture of what life would be like if all negative states of being--hate, lust, envy, pride, greed--were replaced by lovingkindness and compassion. in this sense, the kingdom of God is the perfect earth toward which we strive; our intention is to cause these negative states to diminish and positive states to increase. in this way, we move closer to the way of life that was intended for us; the more we embrace lovingkindness and compassion, the closer we are to the kingdom of God.
may we each examine our intentions, making an effort each day to live more skillfully. as we catch ourselves engaging in to negative ways of thinking, may we remind ourselves of our intention to let go of the suffering we cause ourselves and others and may we renew our efforts to see the path of love and compassion more clearly. shalom.