An accident or illness can cause injury that will not quickly heal. A spur of the moment decision can have consequences that dog us all our days. Or a couple can sincerely promise ‘I do’ in a brief ceremony and enjoy a covenant of loving companionship ‘as long as they both shall live’. A wise choice can reap benefits for many years.
Some people consider faith for a long time before taking a definite stand. For them it’s like the sun slowly rising. For others it’s like the stadium lights switched on, the pitch suddenly flooded with light, everything exposed, nowhere to hide.
It was a bit like that for Saul of Tarsus when he had an unexpected meeting with the Lord Jesus, post – resurrection. Saul had been trying to quash this ‘myth’ and had been vigorously opposing its exponents. Then one day he was confronted with all the evidence he needed, forcing him to his knees and a dramatic change of direction.
The dementor became a disciple, the opponent an evangelist, the persecutor an apostle and pastor. It seemed so sudden, that encounter on the road to Damascus, but it changed him forever. Empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, Paul as he now was, and the other Apostles went on to write the New Testament and profoundly influence world history.
I suppose it doesn’t matter whether something happens in a moment or over time. What is important is what happens and how we respond. The ‘light’ of God’s revelation has come into the world in Jesus. Paul and millions since make compelling witness.
Quickly or slowly we need to make a choice, to believe and submit and accept the changes that will undoubtedly follow. Paul lost a lot in terms of material wealth and popular prestige but he reckoned he gained much more.
‘I consider (worldly advantages) rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…’ he says in Philippians 3. Big change indeed for someone who began as a persecutor.
The change begins when someone meets Jesus personally in penitent faith.
Why don’t you try?