"As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him." -- Acts 9:3
THE Biblical reference of the Road to Damascus is the conversion of Saul, one of the cruelest critics of Christ. As he neared Damascus Jesus appeared to Saul and confronted him. We all know what the result was, from being the harshest of critics Saul, now Paul became one of the most ardent followers of Christ. It took blindness to make him see the truth. No one knows how he died but it is widely accepted that he was beheaded for his faith. Thus he died a martyr.
I am writing on this particular topic because of a moment. Today as I write this, it is feast of the conversion of Saint Paul, January 25. But really it is not because it is the feast that I write this. (Honestly, I only knew today that it was the feast!) I write because of what happened the day before, January 24.
As it happened, I was doing my daily reflection on that day and the reflection talked about God's overpowering purpose and as again it happened the author used Paul's conversion as a point of prayer. Now, this author is not Catholic but is Christian and if in case you are curious, Oswald Chambers. And while I was thinking about the reflection it came to me that all of us have our own roads to Damascus, we all have our conversion moments. Yes, we do, we just need to see beyond what is in front of us. Paul was literally stunned and blinded because of his persecution. In the same manner so are we, perhaps not so much dramatically stunned or blinded, but yes, we are stopped.
What is your road to Damascus? What is your point of conversion? It could be anything. Some people go through adversities and trials to finally see. They get floored. Sometimes with others, it takes pain and suffering. With others, it takes prayers and more prayers. For some, it can be an event, even a song. Or an act of kindness. Or a singular moment. Or a word. Or a Bible verse. What is your road to Damascus?
What is that thing that literally stops you? This world today is in the middle of the road to Damascus. We are stunned, shocked. We are blinded, paralyzed. And yet look at how we treat this pandemic? Instead of giving pause and reflection, some have used it for their own greed.
Corruption at the expense of lives. Greed is tantamount. Ambition reigns. Instead of learning what must be, we do what we have been accustomed to. We have not learned anything. Instead, it has gotten worse because we are using this pandemic as an excuse, a gateway for personal satisfaction and agenda. Perhaps nothing shocks us anymore.
We all have chances and let us be grateful that we have our own moments of conversion. That is God giving us choices. That is God's way of saying, I am here and you can choose me if you choose to. It really is our decision.
God can only watch.