2/14/15 – CHEYENNE, WY – As Christians, how often have we heard our ministers and priests say that “transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God’s plan for the World.” Sometimes I wish He’d take another look. Transforming the World by entire groups might be better.
For instance: if the Russians gave up their designs on Ukraine’s eastern section, wouldn’t that part of the world be a more peaceful place? If Islam would jettison the Koran or at least those portions of it calling for Muslims to”kill all the infidels wherever they are found,” wouldn’t the violent events of the last forty years performed by Islāmic terrorists not have happened? If certain nations were to abandon the production and export of pornography, wouldn’t the souls of men and women be more pure?
I’ve lived a long life and I’d be the first to admit there have been times when I have not always done the right thing; made the right choices. But, at some point, it came across to me, as I’m sure it has to many, that I needed to develop a better version of me; be more transformed toward the good.
A transformation? Well, yes. Because I was tired of doing things the other way. I was able, at last, to see that if I could become a better version of me, the consequences of that transformation would echo through my entire life: my marriage, my family, my parish, nation and even beyond. Some people might refer to this as “a religious conversion.”
Now, I’m not saying that I have succeeded in this transformation. I’m not perfect. Far from it. In fact, looking back, I can see how far I’ve come. And how far I still need to go. Once I’d determined on the goal, it was God who did the transforming. But, it was me who had to open myself, to coöperate.
God’s grace is never lacking, but coöperation with His wish to transform us into something – someone – a bit more useful, and hopefully a bit more along the lines of what He wants us to be? Essential.