Friday, July 03, 2009

Acts 9:1-9

The conversion of Saul is such an inspiring and awesome story. In the "World According to Vicki" story, which is constantly written and rewritten, and is my own account of just about everything, I believe God chose Saul deliberately. What a perfect example of hate turned to love and of what God can do in a person's life. It was also one of the first very public displays of God's miraculous love after the death of Jesus.

But, I also believe that God chooses each and every one of us deliberately as well. God doesn't say "I love you because I am God and I have to love everyone." We aren't a nameless, faceless person in His family. Scriptures say that He knows each of us by name. He knew us when we were still in the womb.

I can only imagine that Paul's conversion was all the more impressive to Paul in that God would have chosen him, given his life's work thus far was to persecute new Christians. For some of us, our conversion stories barely feel like a real conversion. In my case, for example, I feel as if I was always a Christian and was never really converted. God has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

In some ways, this makes it harder for me to feel part of God's chosen. I have felt incredibly blessed in my life and I know He is with me all the time, forever. But did He choose me or did I choose Him? Since it all sort of just happened over time, this relationship with God that is, there was no one event that I can point to and say "Ah hah! See, God chose me and I am His."

I submit to you that it works both ways. God knew me in the womb. Therefore, He knows me better than I know myself. But, it takes two to make a relationship. God knows that better than anyone. He is patiently waiting for each of us to reach out to Him. He doesn't need to reach out - He's right next to you and me. Always. We don't need a conversion moment to grasp His hand, to talk with Him and listen to his comforting words. He was walking next to Paul for a long time before light from heaven flashed around him and Jesus spoke to him. But, Paul had built such a wall between himself and God that there was no other way for God to get through but to punch a large hole and yell "Saul, you dummy, I've been here all along?"

Maybe that's where we are with God right now. You don't need a conversion moment. But you may need to start tearing down any wall you've built. Remember, God is right there, waiting.

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