Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The awesome miracle
I finally finished with Charry's By the Renewing of Your Minds last night. This is from the climactic chapter "Sapiential Theology":
Few people start out looking for an intentional devotional life; it is simply too arduous. Something has to intervene in the person's life to awaken desire for another way. God must turn one's head from current pursuits to a new realm of possibilities. For Augustine, reading Cicero's Hortensius propelled him into the pursuit of the spiritual life. Occasionally the Holy Spirit will even use preaching, or simply the presence of someone in another's life. It may come through moral, social or psychological stumbling or pain, or just out of curiosity. For some, as Calvin pointed out, complete self-despair is necessary. God must, however, make himself an object of desire.

For some people this will happen violently, in a dramatic act of conversion. For others it may be slow and not at all clear. Yearning may begin as no more than dissatisfaction with one's work or forms of entertainment, without God in the picture at all. That is why Christians must always be alert for opportunities to be of service to others in the Christian life, and to serve them without presure or lock-step expectations, perhaps thinking of themselves as midwives. It is important that the struggle of coming to God be respected. That God breaks through to us at all is an awesome miracle (242).

The spiritual life is hard, man. I particularly like this idea about respecting the struggle of coming to God. My own conversion was not some violent blitzkreig but rather a day by day ceding of territory. And I wonder how this is true for those around me. And I wonder how often I forget that and disrespect your struggle, that your's is over and done with.

posted by Peter at 9:14 PM
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