Friday, August 20, 2010

Acts 9:1-9

Have you ever had a conversion moment? Maybe you were dead certain about something, but then you learned something else that made you take a 180. Or, maybe your expectation of something was one way, then that something went an entirely different direction. Did any of these situations result in you taking several days to get your bearings back?

That's what happened to Saul/Paul. I have never had a conversion moment. I'm one of those cradle Episcopalians who never knew what it was like to not know Jesus as my personal savior. So, I cannot imagine what happened to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus.

But, I think there are other types of "conversion" moments that are, perhaps, as life changing. Maybe it's holding your first born just after birth. Perhaps it's standing by a loved one's graveside. Or standing in the ocean mist or on the Appalachian Trail and revelling in the glory of God's creation. For me, I have had conversion moments in the slums of South Africa and in Haiti.

The important thing about "conversion" moments is to keep them close to you. I have a few practical tips for this. First, journal about what you are seeing and feeling. You will need to refer back to how you felt because these moments pass. Second, pray about what you are feeling and what God means for you to do with these feelings. Third, share what you are feeling with trusted friends and confidants.

Sometimes, conversion moments aren't so obvious even though in the long run, they lead to a fundamental change in your life. The point is to stay open to such moments. The old saying "God moves in mysterious ways" is very true. Maybe we won't be hit by a bright light, loud voice and sudden blindness the way that Saul was, but our lives can be changed nonetheless.

I'm still waiting for my divine conversion moment and I hope to share it with each of you when it happens.

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