Last week at our Division Spiritual Development Day, Ken Yasinski really challenged me! In fact, I was most grateful to have our SALT and Principal Lenten Retreat the following day to be able to take some time and really reflect on his message. One of my earliest thoughts was about how I would have taken Ken’s message when I was early in my career, both as a teacher and young administrator. I’m a little embarrassed to say, that I probably would have shut down early in his presentation- my ears would not have heard him and worse, my heart would not have been open to welcome his message. Hearing about conversion moments has never been my cup of tea!
It is not that I don’t believe in what Ken experienced or even the great conversion of St. Paul, but for most of us, I think conversion is a longer process. We don’t have a conversion moment, but rather we experience moments of conversion! The issue many of us face, is whether we acknowledge those moments with eyes, ears and hearts open. God is constantly awaiting an invitation to come into our lives. He is knocking at our door hoping that we will answer and welcome him in. Each time we open our eyes, ears and hearts to God’s presence, we experience moments of conversion!
The conversion journey we are on is not always easy. While we would like it to be a highly private matter, being in a Catholic school division requires us to be a little more public in our faith. That scares most of us since we envision the need to become radical like some hypocritical television evangelist we’ve all seen before. The truth is that our public display of faith needs to be visible in our actions, but not overt. Our passion needs to be subtle not fanatical. Our goal is to welcome in not push away. And finally, we need to remember that faith is about theology not ideology!
Our conversion moments lead us from washing our hands of issues we don’t want to deal with to washing the feet of others who are in need. It shifts our thinking from me to us and from personal ambition to community needs. We are reminded of the words of Pope Francis, “Authentic power is service.” As we continue on our Lenten journey, I pray that we will be more open to those many moments of conversion that are placed in our lives. May we continue to open the door wide to let God into our lives!