My daughter has restarted watching this show called Sofia the First. It tells of the adventures of a village girl after her mother marries the king. I love the line from the theme song, “I am finding out what being royal is all about.” It captures the feeling that every Christian experiences now that they are a child of the King.
It reminds me of my time from 2nd to 5th grade when my family moved from the United States to Sri Lanka. It was a strange experience to be from one place but to be living in another place. They call these people, third culture kids or TCKs. One of the best explanations of this kind of life came as a missionary described it in their newsletter (names left off for security purposes):
“A TCK is a child who grows up in a third and unique culture. They are heavily influenced by the culture of their parents (passport countries), and they spend a large portion of their lives being influenced by a second culture (host countries). They do not wholly fit into either. Instead, they mix these cultural norms together into a unique and personal blend to create their own third, distinctly unique culture. So, they live in these two worlds and form ideas of who they are and what is normal and it becomes part of their perspective, their culture. Their culture is a blended one. They are Third Culture Kids.”
This is the challenge that all of us face as we live as with passports for another world, or as Paul says, “Our citizenship is in heaven.” (Phil 3:20). But how do we live in this in between time? Here are five things that I think we do differently living as prince and princesses in this world.
I take advantage of access to the King
Although we don’t live in heaven now we still can do what the author of Hebrews describes, “Come boldly to the throne of grace to find grace and mercy to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) From my time of living overseas, sometimes you just pick up the phone and call home. We experienced then the challenge of bad phone connections, but our Father the King is just a prayer away.
I live as a representative of the King wherever I go and with what I say
I remember as a kid the father of a neighbor boy trying to talk to me about United States politics. I don’t remember what I said, but I was in that moment a representative of the United States to him. We must remember that every word, text, social media post is as a representative of the King of the Universe. As Proverbs says the power of life and death are in the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)
Capitalize on my unique position to bring people to the palace
There is an episode in Sofia the First where she brings some of her friends from the village to the castle for a sleepover. It is filled with drama because the village girls are not used to the palace and Sofia’s new sister wants them to behave like princesses. We all as people originally from the village are in a unique position to help introduce people around us to a life they too can enjoy. We just need to remember where we came from and live out grace everywhere we go.
Understand that I will live with tension and homesickness
One of the things that I experience as a TCK is that it is often hard to feel at home. When I was living in Sri Lanka there are things that I would miss deeply back in the United States. And just last week I was talking about craving a fruit from Sri Lanka that I can’t get here in the USA. The same is true for us as Christians. There are moments when we will feel out of place. As the founding pastor of my home church said shortly before his death, “I am homesick for a place I have never been.”
We party like a princess
I had to throw this one in as a place to end. A few weeks ago I took my daughter to her first concert: Jamie Grace. The new song was: Party Like a Princess. The point of the song was that if our identity is as a child of the King we can celebrate even if we don’t have certain external things (the songs example is a boyfriend). Don’t forget to rejoice that “he paid it all” so that you could be a prince or princess.