Monday, March 12, 2007

Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Continual Conversion

What is the secret to true holiness and true happiness?

Both are the same... to be truly holy is to be truly happy, for how could anyone who is not holy be truly happy..... and how can anyone who is truly holy not be happy in that deep down, no-matter-the-circumstances kind of way?

The key to happy holiness is constant conversion, .... readiness to begin anew a journey.... at each moment to be changed, drawn away into a journey to God through changed circumstances and, finally, a changed life.

Today's Old Testament reading offers Namaan the Syrian as an example (2 Kings 5:1-15). God offers Namaan healing through a succession of several unlikely events: the obedience of a young servant girl who listened to God, a government mandated journey to a far away land, instructions from a wilderness holyman to bathe in a local stream.

At each point along the way Namaan has the opportunity to say yes or no to the process.... and sometimes he balks at what seems to be a useless requirement. But finally Namaan does put aside his native skepticism and plunge into the river seven times. The result is his healing from leprosy.

Like Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz, at the end of a long journey, he comes to find himself changed. The journey and the experiences weren't simply pre-requisites to the healing/ return home. They were the process itself.

Likewise, conversion is a process that begins, like the yellow brick road with a single step in the right direction. Who knows where that journey will end?

Namaan certainly didn't. But he reaped the benefits of continual conversion.

Follow the yellow brick,
follow the yellow brick,
follow the yellow brick road......

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