Monday, February 13, 2006

Conversion

I ran across a post today on conversion at Thoughts on the Way to the Abbey. I found it compelling because I never had any blinding flash of light conversion experience. Conversion seems like a rather slow and not always pleasant process, and accepting Christ as savior is just the beginning. I was “saved” at the age of seven or eight, when I didn’t have much understanding of what it meant, and then life led me away from faith and then I started inching up to it again. Anthony quotes a monk, Father Simeon, in his post. Here is what he says:

Father Simeon said that if conversion means anything,it must mean that your life is not going to be the same. If your life is basically the same after you said some words or something, you have not been converted. He said that he sometimes wonders when he hears people talk about their conversions, and he wants to ask them, "Is your life any different apart from a few added on religious observances? Has your life been disrupted?"

Has it disrupted mine? I have to admit that I very much like to be comfortable. I wonder how much conversion actually disrupts the lives of most Christians. I witnessed a lot of emotional walks to the altar. People get caught up in the emotionalism of being saved--but as for fruit . . .

I was also captured by the idea of marriage as conversion:
He said everyone who has been married for very long has been called to conversion, because that's what marriage is, a call to conversion, though people seldom see it that way, and that may be a reason so many marriages fail. We enter marriage with the idea that "this person will enhance my life." Father Simeon says, "What, like a new Lexus will enhance your life?" And notice the emphasis on "my" life. Marriage is no longer my life, but our life.

14 comments:

  1. I couldn't say it any better. You are my wife, life, and Happy Valentine's Day.

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  2. Hello Bad Alice.
    You have some good additional thoughts here. Thanks for the link, and I'm glad you found something of value in the post.
    Peace

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  3. Conversion is a process, as you so rightly say, and it lasts a lifetime. It's a purifying experience, a burning away of the dross, the junk, the ugly bits, to make us more like Jesus. How wonderful that God only gets rid of the bad bits, revealing the beautiful, gorgeous person he made us inside.

    I think I am now going to call you Beautiful Alice!

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  4. Happy Valentine's Day!

    God bless you as always.

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  5. Oh I love the part you wrote about marriage being a conversion! Awesome.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!!! I'm thankful this day to call you friend.

    “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
    John 15:13

    Your Sister In Christ,

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  6. Beautiful Alice it is :)

    I stopped by to wish you Happy Friends' Day. You are GREAT!

    this is a GOOD post! And I loved what DramaQueen said about writing Valentine in Roses. What a romantic.

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  7. You've given me something to think about. I too like what you posted about marriage as conversion. Makes sense.

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  8. Perfect. So many of us get so caught up on making sure the details of our story line up, when our lives seem to be falling apart. conversion--changing all of it into something new.

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  9. came back to re-read this. It really spoke, especially the thought of marriage being a conversion too.

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  10. Conversion = disruption! What a scary, and powerful, wonderful thought! Whew...

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  11. Maybe understanding the OT cultural/biblical covenant idea would help too. I always like looking at God’s covenant that he made with Abraham and comparing it with the New Testament (covenant that he makes with us). God walked through the sacrifice in Abraham’s day (OT) and now we must walk through Christ’s sacrifice in the New Testament . . . I think that God took the human practice of covenant, way back in the day, and accommodated his desired relationship with people back then and seeks to do a similar thing today. The marriage language is very helpful and shows how much God gives us (his “bride”) mutual responsibility and love. I liked what Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him, ‘come and die.’” --

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  12. My conversion experience has been deeply disruptive... but in the really good God kind of way. The effects of it have permeated every aspect of my life... especially my marriage. (For the better, I think! My husband may not be so sure, LOL!)

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  13. Hey there. I've never had the blinding conversion either. I was five when I asked Jesus to be my
    Saviour. But what you blog about is very interesting. Has my life been Disrupted? Has it changed since my conversion. No! It sure gives me a lot to think about.

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