We read the story of Saul's conversion yesterday in church. You already know how much I'm drawn to this story because I've already written about it. I sort of have a love-hate thing going on with Saul, and here's why. Part of me loves the story of his conversion because it's so inspiring. Saul was a bad, bad man. He killed people; he persecuted the early Christians; he hated Jesus. In fact, on the very day of his conversion, on the road to Damascus, Saul was on his way to persecute more Christians. Before he got there, though, he met God, went blind (temporarily) and became a believer. Saul's story gives me hope, because I figure if terrible Saul can become a believer, anyone can.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' (12: 8-9)
I'm beginning to realize that conversion, even one involving dramatic, "lightening strikes," is still just the beginning, the "turning around," as the word's root suggests. It's in the looking back and in the looking ahead, in the slow but steady process of turning around, that the true converting begins.