Getting knocked off your horse

As I've said before, I love the readings of the Easter Season - particularly those from the Acts of the Apostles. In today's first reading we have the granddaddy of all conversion stories ... the Conversion of St. Paul.

Perhaps it's because I came back to the active practice of my faith through the Paulist Fathers, but I've always loved this story. I think it's also because it's SO dramatic.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
He said, “Who are you, sir?”
The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
Now, the odds that any of my readers have had lightening come from the sky accompanied by a voice from the heavens telling you "what you must do" - let alone been knocked off a horse - are slim. But in the figurative sense, I think we've all had this experience in one form or another. For me it was watching someone I love suffer and die, and realizing that life is too short to waste. (Among other less dramatic ones).

So today, I thank God for those knocking me off my horse moments.

Anyone care to share their stories?


Katney said...

Well, I've been knocked off a horse, and I've had a lightning-like blast from the direction of the sky, but neither had anything to do with conversion. I think that most of the time it's a tiny voice in our hearts that keeps needling us. But in his homily this morning our pastor pointed out that Saul had had all these quiet voices in his heart--the regular signs that he needed to heed, but was so single-minded that he needed to be knocked off his horse to notice. Sometimes we do, too.

Anonymous said...

*laughs* Have you read any of Andrew Greeley's novels? In "Patience of a Saint" his protagonist has an ecstatic experience. He describes it as being hit by a cosmic baseball bat. I've always loved that description because it so wonderfully describes that complete AHA! moment when things suddenly become clear. I'm one of those that tends not to hear the small, still voice and needs the baseball bat to bounce off of my head before I really get what God's trying to tell me.