Shadows of Conversion
Antony Flew took 81 years to make up his mind. Or to change it. I'm not sure which. And now he's written a book about how he morphed from the "world's most notorious atheist" to being a God believer. What kind of God does he believe in? I suppose his book talks about that. At the very least, the God he believes in is both subtle and powerful enough to assure life with the perfection of the simple electron. (It is the electron, I hear, that tipped the scales for Flew.)
In my experience, conversion hinges on the most unpredictable of matters. An electron. A song. The weight of biblical prophecy. Maybe even a good night's sleep, or a bad one. In other words, "the moment" can seem to hinge on a small catalyst. But to change one's mind is a big thing, probably involving an almost untraceable series of events and impressions.
I like the way Scot McKnight describes this process, saying, "...conversion is more like the evening soft-shoe dance of the summer shadows across the lawn. It's hard to see, but the shadow is moving, and at some point we see that it has, in fact, covered the lawn....[It] is a series of gentle nods of the soul..." (p.96, The Jesus Creed)
Maybe it is a little like falling in love. Or better yet, maybe it is like figuring out what to do with love once we have fallen. I wish I could be more definitive about this, but I admit that it remains largely a great mystery to me. So that I feel I can only touch the shadows of conversion.
Shadow in the Garden photo, by L.L. Barkat.
Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.