Earlier this week, Pete Wilson posted “Information Does Not Equate Transformation.” It is a great post and you should go read it. It touches on something I have been thinking a lot about lately…
As a child growing up in church, I was force-fed so much “information” about God, about Jesus, about religion. I was taught the books of the Bible, the key Bible verses, the creeds, the prayers, the Christian campfire songs (let’s all join in for one quick round of It Only Take A Spark…), but 9 times out of 10 it was just “information” that could be regurgitated on cue.
For example I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t recite “The Prayer of St. Francis”…
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.
But I must confess that prayer never had much of a spiritual impact on me.
Not until I dug deeper and learned more about the man that Francis of Assisi was, a man who deeply and genuinely loved all of God’s creation, a man who fought for peace, a man who lived out the Gospel, and a man who rescued a troubled church.
As I turned the pages of Ian Cron’s Chasing Francis, I found myself on a beautiful pilgrimage learning about God and life from “the first postmodern” saint. And the “information” I’ve always known about St. Francis finally began to take hold, to mean something, and to transform me.
Now when I recite “The Prayer of St. Francis,” I will reflect on the man that Francis of Assisi was and the woman I want to become.
Have you ever had an “aha” moment where some information you’ve always known suddenly began to take hold and transform you?