1: the act of converting : the process of being converted
2: an experience associated with the definite and decisive adoption of a religion
3a : the operation of finding a converse in logic or mathematics
b : reduction of a mathematical expression by clearing of fractions
4: a successful attempt for a point or points especially after a touchdown or for a first down <a 2-point conversion> <a third-down conversion>
5: something converted from one use to another
6: gene conversion
This definition is from Merriam Webster’s on line dictionary and barely touches on a life of faith. It takes no account of how this thing called conversion is sometimes like being thrown into a blender on a high speed that takes a California girl and places her somewhere she couldn’t have found on a map with coordinates ten years ago.
When this whole journey was new to me I thought conversion was a onetime thing, something I did and then moved to the next step. Kind of a hoop that baby Christians jumped through before they got to do the “big stuff.” You know, that prayer or action to be part of the “in” crowd. Being a pretty good rule follower, it was important to do all the steps and in just the right order.
ha ha…silly me. Little did I know that every moment in this love affair with this dangerous Jesus is about conversion. From day one this lover of my soul has challenged me to come closer, move deeper, trust quicker, and whine less. I continue to be invited from who I once was to who I am meant to be.
Much like art, I am a work in progress…there are layers and textures and each take time to dry or cure before being added to. Some take longer than others, some involve mistakes I make, some are just “lucky” strokes, and often I try to hurry the process along and end up making nothing but a big ol’ mess.
Here I am an ordained person and still I have times I run from this savior who continues to pursue me relentlessly. I run:
Each time I am reminded my “I” is in the middle (that ol’ thing called S-I-N).
Each time there is another cost to following.
Each time more is asked of me.
These are days I say I want to go back to the way of unknowing. Those days I thought I was in control (wink, wink) and that I had it “all” figured out.
So why in this year of 2013 (which contains a number I have a phobia of) am I being called out of my comfort zone to live a year of conversion?
Is it because conversion really is not a onetime thing?
Is it because I am so far from “getting” it?
Is it because I need yet another challenge I will likely stumble through?
I wish I knew (well honestly, probably I don’t). I keep saying I want a nice or comfortable or simple life, but I think this calling One knows me better. I get bored when things are predictable, safe, and easy. So instead this year will be one I try to live every day as “conversion” and remember it is really about an ongoing process of being molded, broken, re-shaped, re-formed, and re-newed.
Truth be told it is more likely I will spend the year trying to catch up to this one who invites me into this dance of joy, truth, and freedom as he encourages me to live a life of every day, all the time, continuous, and constant conversion.
It will be a year I pray with God’s help to live 2 Corinthians 5.17 in the present tense and in a very personal way:
So if Julie is in Christ, she is a new creation: everything old is passing away; see, she is becoming new!