In which lines near the point of convergence

by Craig on September 2, 2011

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There was a fullness of time for the arrival of the Savior, as history converged to create one. best. time.

And if we know Jesus, we all have our own fullness of time for salvation. Here is the continuation of the personal strands of history that converged to bring me to the Cross.(part one is here…two is here)

•    Senior year there was my dream girl, Beth. I was seeing all stars, and a white dress, and children, and white picket fences. She was from a different high school. We met in the finals of a State Speech Competition. The last night of the competition was a party. I asked her to dance. She lowered her head and said, words dripping sweet and soft as honey, that she wanted to but couldn’t because she was a Baptist – and dancing was not allowed. I didn’t even know what a Baptist was – much less about the dancing thing. I thought it was just an excuse to say no. Looking back I wonder what might have been if instead of walking away rejected I sat and spoke of God.

•    There was the movie, “Jesus of Nazareth” and it struck a place in my heart. It prompted the desire to write the paper on the Crucifixion of Jesus for a very Jewish English teacher who decreed that no papers should be about religion. (here)

•    There was a philosophy of religion class, my freshman year of college that had me convinced there was a God of some sort.

•    There was a comparative religion course my second year of college which left me certain, with all due respect to my Hindu friends, that Hinduism was a religion obviously made up by the rich and powerful to keep the poor in place. It also left me sure that Islam was just one dubious man’s errant offshoot of Judaism and Christianity. Christianity seemed anchored, more than any other religion in proven history.

Oh, and as a side note I hearted LOST – but did NOT heart this stained glass window…

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•    There was the Mormon girl I fell in love with when I was 20-ish. She was special, and gentle, and the blond haired version of the dark haired Beth. She also didn’t dance, but this time we talked of spiritual things. There were walks in the snow, holding hands, and picnics. But things didn’t seem quite right about her idea of God. I didn’t become a Mormon. Her family ended the relationship.

Then, in the place you would least expect it to happen…
a place that was all “world” and no God..
in the mid 80’s amid big hair, big fashion, free morals…
before anyone knew what AIDS was…
and there was a river of temptation flowing daily to my door…
in the last place in the world you would expect to find God…

you might guess that it’s precisely where all my points converged in a fullness of time.

But I’ve taken enough of your time today…

You have other things to do…

Next time I’ll finish the story…

And tie the personal fullness of time to the world’s fullness of time…

Please come back.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora September 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

I left my comment for this under the wrong post, so here it is:

I’m still in the front row and NOT leaving my seat! I could relate to the being a Baptist and not being allowed to dance. I had to bring notes to gym class when we had dance lessons. I felt like such a fool and I think that was the only REAL time that I was ashamed of my faith —- or should I say — the faith of my parents. I couldn’t find anywhere in MY Bible that told me I could not dance. I couldn’t help but read between the lines here, Craig, and see all the “what if’s” and where the paths would have gone differently IF she had gone dancing, IF. . . IF. . . IF. . .!!!! I have sat and daydreamed about all the what if’s in my life. I wonder if the path I did choose was the one planned out for me or if, some day, God will show me His better plan for me. Strange that that still bugs me. I remember those scarey preachers that would point their boney fingers and talk about missing “God’s best for my life” and choosing second or third best and that someday God would show us how it could have been had we chose HIS best. OH MY! even now that twists me a bit!!!!

Can’t wait til tomorrow!

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Michelle September 3, 2011 at 4:43 am

I replied to this one on yesterdays. :)

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Craig September 3, 2011 at 7:12 am

Cora, I actually, really had no idea about the Baptist not dancing thing in high school. I remember as a kid in Brooklyn, in first or second grade, playing outside on a Sunday morning – and people from another apartment in the building came by all dressed up and went to a place called “church” – I had no idea what “church was either. And about the ifs, I really don’t think God has a “plan” for our lives – where everything is laid out in a predetermined way. He works out the predetermination – free will thing amazingly well allowing for both – and I think he does that in our lives to – he’s never surprised by anything – because he knows it’s going to happen – but we still get to decide. I don’t even think there’s a perfect path for any of us on this planet – because the planet is broken – and sometimes you might be presented with three different choices – all of them being bad – all of them being broken – so if there are times when there is no good move to make – but you have to make a move – how can things be perfect? a quest for perfection but grace for the quest ツ perfection is for later – so don’t worry – we ALL miss. God’s best for our life – in THIS life – no matter what the press says. God bless you Cora!

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Andrea Dawn September 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

Just checking in . . . in a deep pondering mode that last few days, so not much to say just yet. But I am here walking quietly with you all.

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Craig September 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

Andrea Dawn, that’s nice of you – it’s nice to just drop a comment to say that you’ve been reading – it’s nice to know that you’ve been there – I’ve been behind on replying to comments anyway – and I feel really guilty about that – so thank you for reading – and thank you for leaving this comment – I heart both! God bless you Andrea Dawn.

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Andrea Dawn September 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

Hey Craig, I don’t have email address for you so I will post here. Thanks for stopping by WORD Pictures and yes you may use the hammock picture. It’s my daughter in the picture having a sweet rest. Bless you, friend.

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Andrea Dawn September 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

BTW, the Counting the Gifts post you commented on was last weeks . . . haven’t done the current one yet.

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Craig September 5, 2011 at 3:39 am

see how confusing it gets when a person with two blogs reads a person with two blogs ツ you’re still an over achiever ツ

Dawn September 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Dear Craig,

Thanks for sharing all your “young love” stories. They are my favorite part. Yesterday you mentioned the television stars of yesterday that made your 8-year-old heart throb. That made me chuckle. The young women you wrote about today made my heart melt. I found those years in my own life so daunting. Was I wearing the right skirt? Did I have broccoli in my teeth? Was I giving the boy enough eye contact? Was I giving the boy too much eye contact? Should I have slapped his knee when we made that touchdown? After every social engagement, I’d spend the rest of the night analyzing my every move, frame by frame…such a horrible, self-centered time.

I still have an old Dave Berry short story about a guy and a girl talking about their relationship. It is a hoot. She is so analytical and he is so clueless. I’m going to try to dig it up and perhaps it will be one of my posts next week as a “blast from the past” funny. Thank goodness this comment ended on an “up” note. I must get ready for work.

Singing here,
Dawn

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Craig September 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

keep in mind Dawn – that for a man who has never been married – there are a lot – A LOT of young love and not so young love stories – and a whole bunch of heartbreaks. And at that time of life – by the way – guys worry a lot too. Dating is trial and error – and error – and error – and I don’t think anybody – except for a very lucky few – do it easily. And guys might appear clueless – but I think they’re just not clued into the same wavelength as girls. I think I have a higher than normal “girl” understanding– but I’m still a a guy inside.

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A. September 3, 2011 at 9:11 am

Craig, your second post within this post: your response to Cora, stood out to me most. I agree that life doesn’t seem to be about finding the perfect way (outside of finding Christ, of course) or even the perfect one…though the latter might be nice. We are given individual gifts or talents or things at which we both excel and enjoy, but life seems to be more about how we respond to our choices. And like you said, our choices tend to be broken or chipped, so how can perfection begin there? There is a lot of freedom in the wisdom you shared in that response. God walks along side of us and helps us as we take each successive step. If I reflected much about all my ‘wrong’ turns, I would be depressed if I focused on the ‘wrong’ aspect. I have to focus on the ‘what did I learn’ aspect instead, and the ‘how has this equipped me to be of greater help or good to those around me in the name of Christ’.

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Craig September 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

First time I heard this in an apologetics class in Seminary, A., that we live in a broken world – I’ve repeated it a million times since. It makes perfect sense that there might be cancer, and other sicknesses, and imperfections in health, and wealth, and power in the world – it’s broken. That old argument that if God made it – it must be perfect – not so true – God made Satan – God made you – God made me. It’s a broken world. God bless you A.

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