Sunday, July 8, 2012

What's Your Story, Morning Glory?

Do you have a good story?

I'm talking testimony, of course. Lately, we've been learning about testimonies in my Sunday School class.

Now, I have a wonderful class of ladies who sit with me each week, but I can hardly get a one of them to share her story.  Some are still too private and can't figure out how to put something so intimate into words. Some are yakkers, and can't figure out how to wrap it up before it becomes a miniseries. Most, though, fall into a different category.

They don't think they have a good story.

I took them to the book of Acts, 
and the story of a man named Saul. 

But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus around noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me.  I fell to to the ground and heard a voice say, "Saul, Saul, why are your persecuting me?"  (Acts 22:6-7)

Now, that's a good story.

There he was, walking along in the noonday sun, when suddenly, Saul saw... the light. 

It must have been a pretty stunning light, to drive him to the ground like that. It must have been a  pretty powerful one, too, to transform him right down to his very identity. 

Even without the effect though, we'd  still know it was a bright light.  It had to be. How else could he have seen it in the noonday sun?   Think about it. At no other point in the day is the sun any higher or brighter than at noon.

I think he gives us that little tidbit to tell us that on that day, Saul thought he was already walking in the light.  In fact, I think he wants us to know that Saul thought his light was pretty high in the sky, too.

Can anyone relate?

Oh yes, Saul knew the law. He had been taught it perfectly, by one of the best rabbis in the land.  He was no spiritual slug, either. Saul was zealous toward the Lord. (v.3)

It was just toward God's Son that Saul had a different opinion.  It was Jesus whom Saul was trying to chase away. That's what the word "persecute" actually means after all

But suddenly...

Another light, one brighter than the noon, got Saul's attention.  It was a great light, he says, and it flashed very specifically around him. Now, that's just cool.  I love drama like that. If you give me a little, I want a little more.

That's why I decided to study the description of the light.  You see, I noticed that the word translated "great" wasn't the usual word for "great" in the Bible. It was a word I didn't recognize so I looked it up.

The word is hikanos,
and do you know what it means? 


It comes from a root which means to reach a destination, to arrive. 

I sat and stared at that definition for a few seconds and let it sink in. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. I had kind of been hoping for a different treasure. I was looking for dazzling, or stunning, or maybe something with the word power tucked into its root.    

What I got was "sufficient."  Isn't that just a fancy way of saying, "enough"?

But then, I started to smile. That's the whole point after all.  Saul's story is my story. Maybe it's yours too.

For years,  I walked in what I thought was sufficient light. Then one day, something  clicked. It clicked like that little light bulb that shows up in a cartoon.


Someday, I'll share what that something was. All I'll say today is that it was something seen by millions of others, something that I had seen many times before, but on that day, it was sufficient. It. was.  enough. 

It was enough to reach it's intended destination, me. And I did exactly what Saul did.

 I got on my knees...
I opened my ears...
and my life was transformed, 
right on down to my very identity.  

Saul is no longer Saul; she's Paul.
Or, as I like to say,  Pauline. 

And that, my friends, is the part that makes
every story
a good story.  

Good enough to share.

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