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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here.
The Principality of Sealand claims to be the smallest independent nation in the world.
It isn’t much to look at.  It’s made of concrete and steel and is entirely contained in the photo above.
Sealand occupies Roughs Tower, one of many “sea forts” that the British constructed during World War II.  Roughs Tower was a platform for antiaircraft guns designed to protect England from German bombers.
In 1967, when the military abandoned the site – it’s seven miles off the British coast in the North Sea, and thus in international waters – a former British Army major and Scotsman named Paddy Roy Bates seized the property with the intention of establishing a rogue radio station there. 
Bates never did build his radio station.  Instead he declared Roughs Tower to be Sealand, a sovereign micro-nation. 
He became Prince Roy, his wife Princess Joan, and their son His Royal Highness Prince Michael.  In short order Bates designed a coat of arms, wrote a constitution, commissioned a national anthem, minted some coins (“Sealand dollars”), and printed official stamps.  To date the principality has issued more than 160,000 “passports.” 
Sealand’s official website proclaims, “Rise as the Noble You Were Born to Be.  Join our adventure and become a Lord, Lady, or Noble Knight.”  The exciting news is that your belle can become a Dame for a mere $111 – the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. 
Even though only a few human beings have ever lived on Sealand, it claims its own hockey team, as well as fencing, ultimate Frisbee, and roller derby squads.  Ten years ago a mountaineer unfurled the Sealand flag on the summit of Mount Everest.
Oh, and its official national dish is spaghetti – definitely an asset if you’re contemplating citizenship. 
But there have also been rough times at Roughs Tower. 
Sealand was “invaded” in 1978 by someone claiming to be its Prime Minister, a man who has since set up the Sealand Rebel Government in exile.  In 2009, a German citizen who identifies himself as King Marduk the First claimed Sealand as part of his own nation, The Kingdom of Marduk.  As the old saying goes, you can’t make this stuff up.
The United Nations does not identify man-made structures as islands.  Therefore, despite all its bluff and bluster, Sealand has never been officially recognized as a sovereign country.
Nonetheless, shortly before his death in 2012, Bates offered to sell Sealand.  Think about it:  You could have owned your own wannabe micro-nation.  For the bargain price of just $906 million US dollars.
Truth be told, you don’t have to be rich or eccentric to be the ruler of your own kingdom.  That’s the thrust behind Jesus’ request of his Father in the Lord’s Prayer: “May your kingdom come, may your will be done…”
In other words, Jesus teaches us to pray for the fall of our own little fiefdoms.  “Lord, may your reign succeed at the expense of the Kingdom of Me.”
What does it mean to surrender my crown?  It means I can no longer strut around as the master and chief architect of the project known as My Own Life.
My reign must end.
So the True King can reign over me with justice, grace and peace.