it has been a tremendously busy 4 months of school, work, activity…life. i’m entering the new year with lessons learned and battles still to fight and i’m not afraid.
that sounds horribly rehearsed. sorry. i’ll do more reading, expand my expression bank. and while i’m at it, i’ll also try to figure out the relationship between bible reading and continuous conversion. i know. that seems a bit random. but it’s a real query. last week i was without a bible for four days and i actually missed it. i had to simply reflect on what was already in my head but i wasn’t satisfied with that. i wanted to actually read the book. the experience made me appreciate all the bibles i own a lot more, helped me recognize my privileged state.
it all began probably 4 or 5 years ago when in my desire to be a salvation conduit i bought a slim black bible that i just knew i’d have the opportunity to give away one day. i always took it to church or had it in my bag just in case some unconverted traveller expressed a need for the Word. i was happy for the change to say, “i’ve got a bible just for you!” but my intentions were marred with pride, self-righteousness, etc.
no one has ever asked me for a bible until last wednesday, december 19, ’07. and even then the request was indirect. it was a dreary day in Belize city. our mission team was tired and frustrated, unable to work outside because of the constant rain. i walked somewhat aimlessly from one tourist store to another, each money trap causing me to wonder how to make the best of this situation. as i passed by one store, two girls stepped out. “Michaela, do you have a bible to give away?” i remembered taking it out of my bag that morning believing that i wouldn’t need it. after all, i was part of the “city beautification” team. the chances of me needing to find a verse while we picked up trash was slim. but i’d also been talking to God as i packed my bag. my gut reaction to the girls’ request was “no” but that lovely Still Small Voice told me to open my backpack. so i did and there it was, the salvation conduit bible that i thought i’d left behind.
i could have made it a really proud moment for myself and handed it to the lady directly but the same voice that told me to open my bag, assured me that i should stay out of the picture. yes, i bought the bible and yes, it was in my bag. but that’s where my “glory” had to end. i gave it to the girls to give to the shop keeper.
so what does this have to do with the relationship between bible reading and continuous conversion? i don’t know. i just started typing and all of this came out. so let’s see…
devotional time this morning reminded me that conversion is a daily thing. we can’t experience one conversion and expect it to last eternally. that’s like eating one egg on sunday and believing you have enough protein for the week–we all know that’s ridiculous. but it’s easy to forget our constant need for conversion. it’s coupled with our constant sin issue. with every sin we need forgiveness. with every sin we need conversion. Lord change me.
if i don’t read the bible, i tend to forget my need. last night i read psalm 1: 1-2. i was feeling a bit nerdy so i read it in the hebrew-english interlinear my dad has. but i’m not really a nerd so i read mostly the english translation. yet somehow the visual structure helped me pause, really reflect on what i was reading. that’s why i only got to verse 2, the part that talks about meditating on God’s law day and night. and in that moment i remembered a discussion in pentatuech class this last semester about God’s law and the freedom found in it, just like the freedom found in God’s judgement. but freedom is only found if we’re on the right side. if we’re fighting God, there’s no freedom. i want freedom but i can’t experience it unless my surrender is continuous, unless my conversion is a daily sacrifice.
i just picked up a book called “On Happiness” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. the english translation tells me that happiness is “subordination of our own life to a life which is greater than ours.” unless i’m reflecting on examples of this subordination and God’s reaction to it, i’m probably not going to do much growing. i want to be free and happy even if i’ll only get them in their truest forms when we get to heaven. they’re worth the sacrifice, worth the wait. not many things are worth waiting for.
i think i’ve written enough for one day. till later…