Transformation is Un-intuitive

From yesterday:  Success, from the standpoint of faith, means learning to accept this new version of the self that God is trying to offer.  We learn to prioritize grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, gentleness, patience, and so on, because there is no more worthy calling than to point, in small, humble ways, to the new, hopeful reality God brings to the world. Click here if you need to get caught up.

 

Can I back up for a moment?

 

Let me just say "accepting" this new version of ourselves, the version God is trying to give us, is not an easy or simple task.  We do not pray a prayer of submission and find ourselves overwhelmingly filled with meaning and purpose nor do we find our desires instantly transformed.  (Well, to be fair, some people say they've experienced this.  I do not find that experience to be particularly common, so I'll try to speak to those who have not been instantly transformed.  If you were instantly transformed, you probably aren't reading this anyway.)

 

Our culture has (wrongly) taught us that anything intuitive is authentic.  Intuitive can mean a few things in this context.  It can mean something either "feels good" or "comes naturally" to us.  I have heard any number of people express bewilderment at why, after their baptism, they felt exactly the same as they did before.  If being welcomed into God's people is an authentic act, why am I not instantly transformed? 

 

The answer is as simple as the question is confounding:  Transformation isn't intuitive.  And, that does not mean our efforts to live into our humanity are not authentic.  We learn to accept the new version of ourselves God is trying to give us.  Some of the work happens mysteriously through his spirit, and some of the work happens through the process of being in community with others who are trying to discern what it means to follow God with their lives.