The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, May 19, 2014

Transformative Power of God

I have often heard about God's ability to transform us over time. Now, I've lived it ... a little bit at a time.

As a child who moved between fourth and fifth grades, I did not quite fit in with our new culture, moving from one distinct region of the country to another. I became shy and an introvert, finding much solace in books and science fiction TV series and movies (can you say Star Trek?). Now, I'm a pastor and, required to take psychological and career counseling prior to ordination to ensure I was fit, I discovered I am actually pure extrovert. I draw my energy from being engaged with others in groups of any size and I revel in this life.

I still am a big fan of books of many sorts. C.S. Lewis has a couple of wonderful quotes related to this topic. The first is dead on: “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” Over the years, God has worked hard with me. The arc of my career path from archaeology to author and editor to pastor shows this to be true. Every step along the road was necessary to who I am now, how I view my theology, how I relate my beliefs to others. 

The second quote deals with how we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves (our neighbors being everyone). Lewis states, “Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did.As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone you will presently come to love him.”

Today I was out waiting in front of the high school gym. I had made a strategic error and had pulled into the wrong parking lot and found my path blocked by a phalanx of school buses, yellow and black filling the road like a swarm of gigantic yellow jackets. Driving a small car, I parked and walked down to the far lot, not challenging the mighty buses. While waiting, a school security guard came out to ask me why I was there. Years ago I would have been worried about this, aghast that I had drawn official attention. Now, to my surprise, I found myself smiling as she approached, glad our kids had her to watch out for them. I explained myself, told her whose father I was and why I was on foot. Then I told her I was a new pastor and just getting into the rhythm of having Mondays off. With this she smiled brightly and we had a wonderful discussion about our churches, mine American Baptist and hers Pentecostal. We compared notes about me being called by a church and her church just starting to search for a new pastor. We were deep into a friendly discussion when my daughter found us. This is a big change in my personality that God has accomplished working slowly and patiently over many years and many encounters with people of all sorts. It's amazing when you can look back and see that impact in your life. 

Here's wishing you some little moment of insight in your life.

For a post on God's love for us all, see:

No comments: