May 15, 2008

Conversion Story

Musician David MacDonald's conversion story. Wow.

I looked at those vintage '70s pictures and thought: "he's got to be the same age as me" but soon I was reading for the riveting story rather than his age.

Too much to excerpt but a snippet or two:
One day a guy watched me for about 30 minutes 'til I took a break. Then he came over and chatted. He said he liked my music and I asked him if he played. He said "not really, I'm into acting." He was young and beginning an acting career. He lived across the bridge in New Jersey. We talked about trying to make it in the Big Apple. We got along quite well and he gave me his number. I didn't think much about it and I never got around to calling him. A year later the movie "Risky Business" came out. The picture in the poster looked a lot like the guy I had talked to in the Subway. So I went home and looked him up in my phone book. The name I had written down was "Tom Cruise." I called the number but he had moved and I never saw him again. I thought to myself "if he can make it, so can I." I didn't realize that it took more than will power and hard work to succeed in New York.
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In retrospect, it was the greatest moment of clarity I've ever had. However, as the philosopher Keirkegaard explains, there is a cost to making an "absurd" decision for God. Sometimes that which follows is hard. We step forward with "fear and trembling" (Mar 5:33, 2 Co 7:15, Phil 2:12). Abraham was not spared the dread of looking into the eyes of Issac as he lifted the knife, (Gen 22:1-19) Mary was not spared the pain of being misunderstood by Joseph (before the angel visited him - Mat 1:24); the apostles were not spared the fear of their faith as early Christians (Acts), and I was not spared emotional turmoil of giving up everything with which I identified. Nor was I spared the dread of being misunderstood by my relatives who believed I had gone mad. So the paradox of a decision for God, as Keirkegaard explains, is that the "closer we come to the Absolute, through inwardness, the less we are understood by the outside world."

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