Posted by Rev. Daniel Christian on May 20, 2017
The Journey: In the blink of an eye
By Rev. Daniel Christian
I was visiting a friend in the hospital this week. When I got home later that day my wife put on a Frank Sinatra CD and was dancing to “That’s Life” while making dinner. The lyrics go, “that is life and as funny as it may seem, some people get their kicks stompin’ on a dream, but I don’t let it get me down, cause this fine old world it keeps spinning around.” It all got me thinking about how life can change in the blink of an eye. One minute you are one way, the next your world has been turned topsy-turvy.
Sudden change is woven into the human experience, but more importantly it is how we grow, respond and cope when the time comes.
Sudden change can be joyous like the news of a pregnancy after years of trying; or getting reconnected with a dear friend after a long absence. However, all too often sudden change can be painful. In an instant portfolios can be wiped out; a loved one dies, companies too big to fail can fail; home values depreciate, and the list goes on.
I am reminded of a passage in the Bible that comes from The New Testament that speaks boldly and beautifully to the presence of God in the midst of swirling change.
The Apostle Paul is converted along the road to Damascus. The day begins for Paul, who is a “take charge” type of guy, and the day ends with him blind and led by the hand, utterly dependent on others for food, drink and safety.
The lesson here for us is that Paul had a breakdown, so he could have a breakthrough. A breakdown, to breakthrough, and see God and his life in a new way.
Paul offers a way forward when it is our turn to be blinded and confused because of grief, loss, joy, success, hurt or isolation.
God’s grace has a way of entering and changing the course of life when we are in the midst of sudden change. Grace is when Love opens your heart, where before there was only hate, peace when there was only war, food when there was only hunger, healing when there was only sickness, friendship when there was only loneliness.
The story of Paul gives us hope that we can change. It makes us tremble, that we just might change. It asks each of us, “How am I blind?” It is easy to see it in others but an entirely different experience to see it in ourselves.
Paul’s story of grace gives us assurance and hope that each of us has the capacity that we too can have our hearts and minds changed. That we can live our lives anew.
Rev. Daniel Christian is the Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Ukiah
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