I adore British period dramas. I could fill a scullery maid’s pantry with the amount of Masterpiece Theater I’ve seen. The costumes, use of language, genteel ways, and pastoral settings have always captivated me, according to Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, “mind, body and soul.” And don’t get me started on the castles.
Majestic and beautiful, castles often housed royalty. Which made entering one rather difficult. After all, not just anybody was allowed to go before the king; a person had to first be approved.
I once imagined a large circular castle, with dozens of drawbridges reaching over the surrounding moat, connecting the castle’s many entry gates to dry land. And at each gate, a long line of people waited to get inside to see the king. Not just any king, but the King of Kings, Jesus.
And among the dozens of lines, only one line was moving, and moving fast! The other lines had various checkpoints, such as the “pray out loud in front of everybody” checkpoint, the “memorize Proverbs” checkpoint, the “sign-up HERE” checkpoint, and the “no tight yoga pants” checkpoint.
But the super speedy line had Jesus - the very King they all came to see - standing at the gate, excitedly waving people in, calling them by name, “I am the gate: whoever enters through me will be saved.” (John 10:9a, NIV)
As I recall my “circular castle” daydream (with complete sobriety, I promise), I realize how often I’m the one standing in the wrong line, where I end up feeling hopeless, frazzled, and simply not cute. The Jesus line is the only way to go, for it grants direct access to himself, the one who longs to lavish his people with approval before doling out a hearty welcome into his forever home. No one but Jesus - not even the dashing Mr. Darcy - could ever come close to captivating us “mind, body, and soul.”