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Faith and Spiritual Growth for the Maturing Adult

Transitions: Lifelong Conversion

Lifelong Conversion
 

by Richard Johnson

Conversion is the sometimes sudden, but most times gradual, shift from how we define ourselves as part of the world, our "worldly self," to recognizing God's divinity within us. Our "Holy Self," becomes our primary identity. Conversion is our singular goal in life, across the entire lifespan. Conversion is necessary for us if we are to continue moving forward on our road to salvation. The work we perform to move along this path, of course with God's assistance, is called our spiritual developmental tasks. This work "quickens" as we mature spiritually.

All spiritual developmental tasks are steps, each bringing us closer to our unique authenticity, the "real" self that God made us to be. As we progress in our way toward God, as we gradually chip away at the excesses in our life, we become more like God. We begin to more clearly manifest God in our modern world. Just as a sculptor chips away at the virgin stone removing from it all that is unnecessary, debriding the stone, as it were, of all that hides or hinders the true and authentic form from emerging, so too, we are the co-sculptors, along with God, of our own spiritual development.

God gives us the raw materials, so to speak, and the grace (power) to accomplish the task, but we must pick up the mallet and chisel and start chipping away, allowing the masterpiece of who we authentically are to emerge from the virgin stone. Our true and authentic self is gradually emancipated from the overbearing control of the stark human ego.

Sometimes our spiritual faith work is tedious; we can only chip away microscopic pieces of the stone, while at other times whole chunks of the stone suddenly drop off revealing the splendor of God beneath. The encumbering shroud of stone, the ego self, falls to the floor and is reduced to debris to be swept away, leaving us as both the sculptor and the masterpiece, more and more free, more and more "real" as the gift of God we are.

Here we find the metaphor for our later life. Our maturing years are a time when we truly begin to see the result of our spiritual work over time; our stone is transforming from a barren block into an inspirational masterpiece that is in a new reflection of the beauty of God.

To find out more about this wonderful spiritual developmental "work" log onto: www.senioradultministry.com

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