… still breathing murderous threats…
The Acts of the Apostles graphically describes Saul in his pursuit of the followers of Christ.
He not only wants to imprison them and get rid of them. He is breathing threats and murder. They have taken over his very being, his very breathing.
These threats of slaughter are not just thoughts, not just ideas. They are part of his being.
Fears, insecurity, competing world visions are not just thoughts that we can get rid of by thinking them through. Sometimes they are so much a part of us that we need to have the breath taken out of us. They are habits of our being that need a radical transformation.
Maybe that’s why the most famous images of the conversion of Saul picture him fallen off a horse, even though there is no horse mentioned in the scriptures.
Perhaps he needed to be “knocked off his high horse.”
When fear, insecurity, doubts assail us, we sometimes need such a radical push by God.
But there are times when we find ourselves at a turning point, a “tipping point.” We have been moved slowly away from our limited views of God and the world. Suddenly an event pushes us “over the top” and we find ourselves on the verge of a new way of living and thinking. We find ourselves called to a new level of conversion in which we take a new breath and live differently.
Not all of us will experience the sudden conversion of Saul, but God is continuously pushing (and pulling) us toward new life, toward even greater Love. Some of us need to be thrown off our high horses; others need only a little push to begin anew.
But all of us need to learn how to stop breathing murderous threats and start breathing in harmony with all our sisters and brothers.
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