The Word: Shapes – Day 34

Seven Wonders of the Word

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” – 2 Timothy 3:14-15

About 20 years ago, (wow where did the time go) I was the Executive Director of the Wright County Historical Society.  I had applied for this job at a time when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I had the same position at the Meeker County Historical Society, and well, there didn’t seem to be too much of a future in History for me at that time, so I was looking.  I had applied, and interviewed, and didn’t hear anything from them for a time.

During that time, I received my call to enter the ministry and was preparing to go to the seminary.   As things would happen they called and offered me the job.  Ugggg… now what do to. Well I told them no and thought that was that. They called back, and offered to be flexible if I wanted to go to school part time they would work with my schedule.  So, it seemed to be a perfect deal.

The rest of that story may show up at some time, but what got me thinking about this was a display we had set up and a certain visitor to the museum.  One day I was working on the “Nelsonian” a brilliant one-man band contraption that used pneumatic pressure to operate over 30 instruments.  A gentleman came up to me as I was working and inquired about this display.  We talked for a bit, and at some juncture he asked me if I was “saved.” I said well, yes, I was and he became quite effusive!

He pulled out his wallet and produced a tattered cardboard card with a date in the 70’s some time.  This was his conversion date; this is when he became a “real” Christian.  He asked when I was saved and I stopped and thought for a moment, and said, “February 12, 1964 I think, for that was the day I was baptized by my Grandpa Braaten in Elk River Minnesota. We then got into a conversation about that, which I think he didn’t see eye to eye with me.

The point is this; I have never not known that I was a child of God. I have had my moments of doubt, of denial, of struggle, but in hindsight even in those moments, God didn’t love me any less. I have even my moments of less than stellar faithfulness been a saved and loved child of God. I have never had what I call a “poof bang” conversion experience.

There have been times when I envy those who have had such times in their lives, great moments of clarity about life and faith.  But I it seems I have something they don’t, I have been blessed with a consistency, an on going and blooming relationship with Jesus Christ. He has always been there where I was looking for him or not. Walking with me shaping me, and guiding me.  This doesn’t mean I haven’t had my struggles, made bad choices, and all the rest, its just that I have never been alone. There were times when I felt that way, but in hind sight, I have no other explanation other than that God has been faithful with me even when I was less that perfect in my own faith.

I give thanks for my parents and others who have kept me in their prayers, who have witnessed to me what to what God has done and continues to do in their lives and in mine even as I continue to be shaped and loved into the image of Christ I first received in my baptism.  It seems like that old “Nelsonian” my life too has been powered pneumatically, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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