the lightning and the dawn

I remember dates. I just do...

Today is exactly 40 years since I knelt beside the bed of my afflicted-with-hepatitus sister in the city of Chandigarh (India) and gave my life to Jesus. 5th March 1967. I was seven years old. While it sounds like a decisive moment (and it was decisive enough for me to remember) I think my conversion to Christ has been more like the dawning of the day. The understanding and the commitment has been a progressive one.

I never really remember a time when I was in darkness. For years I used to be embarassed about this fact. Why couldn't my conversion be more like a lightning strike in which God moved me from darkness to light in one dramatic event? Whenever I was asked to give my testimony I stumbled around wondering what to say.

But there is an amazing grace associated with the dawn as well as the lightning ...


nice chatting

Paul

Comments

Andy said…
and you know what? we give thanks heartily for your conversion!

Andy
Rhett said…
My conversion was closer to the lightning-strike variety. Even still, my journey as a disciple of Christ more closely resembles your 'dawning of a day' metaphor.

The more I think about it, while some first commitments may be like 'lighning strikes', I'm beginning to see that actually FOLLOWING Christ is almost always like a slow dawn.
Paul Windsor said…
I wonder if the most effective evangelists tend to be people who have been struck by lightning, rather than be gradually enlightened by the dawn? Just a thought on which I muse...
Rhett said…
Perhaps people who have been 'struck by lightning' are more effective in bringing people to the point of saying the "sinner's prayer". But I have never come across Jesus asking people he met to say the sinner's prayer, rather is was "follow me" or "be my disciple".

For me, being a Christian encompasses the whole of life, not just my first commitment. Without people modelling the "following" aspect for me, I'm not sure that saying the sinner's prayer in the first place would have led to anything at all!

I might possibly be opening a can of worms in regards to exactly what salvation and evangelism are, but I think I'll leave it at simply saying that the modelling of a slow, steady journey of following Christ has been more valueable to me in my spritual walk. Seeing people of faith actually LIVE their faith has slowly enlightened me to what real faith looks like (and continues to do so!).
Paul Windsor said…
From the backwaters of my mind I was pretty sure that this 'dawn/lightning' idea came from some reading of FW Boreham years ago. When I mentioned this to Geoff Pound (the Boreham-expert)he tracked the source down. You might like to read further on Geoff's blog ... it is good stuff.

http://fwboreham.blogspot.com/2007/03/boreham-on-lightning-and-dawn.html#links

[The Official F W Boreham Blog Site]
elliot said…
I'm trying to gather my thoughts in a noisy computer lab... My 'conversion' - accepting Jesus as a child of 5 - i can't remember. But being conscious of the need for salvation and forgiveness came when i was 13, and that was a time of real darkness in my life. It wasn't a blinding light experience, but it was God reaching down into my darkness to call me to lifelong devotion to Him, and a devotion to following Christ, the light of the world. These days i find myself surrounded by the darkness in the world of today, but as i delve into God's Word i see much more clearly. :)

thanks for blogging,Paul!
Si- said…
My moment of finding Jesus was like yours: overseas, and like yours: at a time of crisis. My brother had just died in a coma two weeks after arriving in china with my parents and I. He died after falling from the 4th story of a building window and after spending week in a Chinese holpital with the prayers of hundreds arround the world crying out to heaven.
Was it a 'lighting strike' moment?
I was only 3 years old at the time, but I remeber praying, going to bed and Jesus coming to me, holding my brother's hand and telling me it was all right and he was safe.
Ever since then I have had a trust in God, as my Saviour and protector.

Nice blog Paul
Andrew Butcher said…
I can't remember a specific time that I never knew Christ. I'm told my conversation was care of listening to Luis Palau on Radio Rhema as a 7 year old or something like that (must be the age!) but I can't remember it. What I do remember though are 'key moments' of encounters with God, which, invariably, have been moments of great difficulty and challenge for me personally but also moments of great growth and maturity for me spiritually. I like it that conversion is a process and I suppose in its own way something we do daily anyway.