CONVERSATION minus CONVERSION = “AT”
“AT” latin translation=apud
among, at, before, amongst, beside, by
My Lenten Translation=
Conversation before Conversion
Many of my greatest life disasters have been the result of my own best thinking. It’s amazing what I can orchestrate with an absence of protein, people and anything that resembles prayer. In these moments, I can create a whole new pothole that appears to be the solution to all of life’s dilemmas….and it all sounded like such a good idea…
One of my lifetime mantras:
My mind is a dangerous neighborhood
that no one should go into alone.
Especially at night
I’ve reflected on the number of times that Jesus had his “people” do several things:
Stop and Listen within
Move to the next place
Jesus and the disciples knew who was who. They knew who was the Master and who were the disciples, but that didn’t prevent mutual conversation that led to conversion. The disciples, and my favorite disciple, Mary Magdalene, didn’t start out with the whole thing figured out. They sat on hillsides and had conversations. They asked questions. They challenged the answers he gave. They dared to say that they were afraid. They argued with one another. They worried about what other people thought of them. Conversion happened after the conversation.
They couldn’t predict the outcome before the conversation. You can’t strategically plan for the conversion until after the conversation. They knew who was who but they had conversations where they chose to be mutually vulnerable. It wasn’t perfect. It had unclear benchmarks. When they didn’t get it, he took them back to the hillside for another conversation — and they ate together — and then came conversion.
Conversation before conversion.
Any winning team requires members to be teachable — coachable. There are plays to learn and penalties to face and defeats to learn from. And after the defeat, there is “chalk talk” when the conversation becomes the instrument for the conversion. Conversation before conversion.
Conversation requires not having the answer before it begins — and leaves open the possibility that the most important conversations are neither convenient nor scheduled. Sometimes, it is the five minutes walking to the car with a colleague — or making the coffee — or recycling yesterday’s game — sometimes the conversation to conversion happens because our hearts get a chance before our minds can convince us ‘that nothing good will ever happen with this knucklehead’. Conversation before conversion.
In these moments, some of my best directions have been revealed to me. And…I can’t get my head around the fact that God sometimes needs me to show up so that conversion can happen for someone else…it’s about Give and Take (but that’s for tomorrow)
Today — Conversation before conversion