"Conversion for me means to always allow myself to be surprised by God. It invites me to a sense of wonder and awe and recognizing that God's imagination is far wider than my own." Christine Valters Paintner
I have a relationship with conversion that goes back into my past as far as I can remember. God and I have been playing hide and seek with my soul since I was old enough to know there was God....and I have often been surprised. I have often been surprised by God's tenacity with me, with the creativity and gusto with which pursuit was waged over this one soul who often, for years at a stretch gave no signs of even being remotely interested in relating back, and at other times fell into love with this same God with a passion that would please even the most ardent of suitors.
I have, at times longed for an altar call....wished for the chance to make public proclamation of a commitment of my converted self, as if somehow that would, once and for all seal this thing, end this chase, stop this run round and round that we do, God and I. We do it still, and still I am amazed at the will to pursue this soul, this willful child....gone again a-wandering. Not so far, not so long it's true....but somehow lost to God and Self again. somehow strayed. Strayed to place where it's easy to forget, to lose sight of the wideness, the expanse of God. To get mired in the minutia of human trivia and forget that this is not all, this is not it.
Christine cites the line from Benedict's Rule "always we begin again." I am it seems never really converted but always in that process somewhere, always converting, again and again at the point of beginning.... and God it seems takes this chance to always be doing something new. Because I am frequently caught off guard by God. Awe and wonder? Perhaps. And sometimes just plain stark shock. God of the Universe...calling me back...yet again to be surprised by love.