Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Most Dejected and Reluctant Convert...

I have 15 minutes before I have to get in the shower and get ready for work. Ugh (and who am I kidding anyway....I always stretch the 15 minutes out to 20, 25...even 30...and then I am scrambling and running around....scolding myself for sitting here with my laptop...way too long.  But today...the peanut gallery...who was too sleepy to comment on Michel Quoist's writings in my last post, just might have a thing or two to say (My brain always works better in the am)

I see a common thread in these past few excerpts from the conversion stories of others.  Some of Quoist's thoughts seem to merge with the story of C.S. Lewis' conversion

I am afraid of saying “Yes,” Lord.
Where will you take me?
I am afraid of drawing the longer straw,
I am afraid of signing my name to an unread agreement,
I am afraid of the “yes” that entails other “yeses.”
And yet I am not at peace.

Oh yeah' I can so relate. I will never be the one at the front of the class, waving my arm wildly back and forth....."Here I am Lord. Send me!!!!" Nope...that's me.....back there in the last row, eyes down, hoping to remain unnoticed and for goodness sake's "uncalled on." But alas, not only in circumstances surrounding our conversion, but also in our day to day walk God pursues us.  He could aptly be described as a nag.  I also get the "not at peace" part. 

You pursue me, Lord, you besiege me.
I seek out the din for fear of hearing you, but in a moment of silence you slip through.
I turn from the road,
for I have caught sight of you,
but at the end of the path
you are there awaiting me.
Where shall I hide?
I meet you everywhere.
Is it then impossible
to escape you?

Ahhhhhh...yeah. Impossible is a good word.  C.S. Lewis says it this way:

"A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere — 'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises', as Herbert say, 'fine nets and stratagems'. God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous".

Quoist continues with the same thought....

I am hemmed in, yet I hide.
I am captured, yet I struggle,
and I fight
knowing that I am defeated.
For you are the stronger, Lord,
you own the world
and you take it from me.

And he can do that, dammit.  David declares...and Paul echos the sentiment....that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof"....."the world and they that dwell therein."  So it is actually his to give...or take. I don't like that one bit by the way, but without a relationship with him...everything seems empty...

Everything seems empty,
Everything seems hollow,
You have made a desert around me.
I am hungry and thirsty,
And the whole world
cannot satisfy me.

Vanity, vanity, it's all vanity.  Only God can plug up that god shaped hole in our hearts....and seal it so tightly that the drafts of discontent can not blow through the cracks. 

Lewis goes on to say...

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.

Yep, he will do whatever it takes to win us over.  The most dejected and reluctant convert?  Hardly.  Tomorrow another conversion story.  Anne Lamott's rather irreverent tale of how she bowed her knee and conceded that "Jesus Christ is Lord."

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