Transformation, I am beginning to understand is not an instantaneous process. In the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans he commands, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2)”. I once thought that transformation could take place in an instant. That all one had to do was to make a conscious choice to let go of the carnal world and believe in the infinite wisdom of God to be transformed. This is not so. For this to be true one must place the finite constructs of time to an infinite creator. To echo the sentiments of Pascal, we must understand that our world is finite compared to the infinity of our Creator. If one desires transformation, of course, one must begin with the mind. Much like human flesh, that is able to withstand the environment and innumerable ailments, the mind harbors our past experiences and our spiritual ailments. Our past experiences are harbored across countless ports in the ocean of our mind. The ethereal storm that wages in our minds thrashes about and destroys some memories and tatters others. The memories that survive are usually the insufferable memories. So why is it that the vessels that contain our bad memories are so resilient? Perhaps the answer lies in the nature of our experiences. Our more peaceful memories take port in peaceful harbors, and evil memories take port only long enough to regroup and set sail in the storm once again. If this is true, then it requires deep concentration to tap into one’s peaceful memories and allow the storm in the mind to subside. The picture of peace in this storm can be described as a single moment.
Looking past the mirror-like waters, approaching the dock, there is a lighthouse in the northeast distance. Standing perfectly still, on the drenched weathered planks of the dock, one is brushed by the westward dancing wind. The local birds ride the movement of the air as they play together. Behind, there is a raging storm, but there is no need to look back for fixation on this vivid image of beauty. Where land meets water begins rolling mountains as far as the eye can see. It is as if the universal creator kneaded dough in the form of mounds and they are beginning to rise into vast hills. The landmark lighthouse is eerily abandoned. The sole source of light emanates from a single cottage erected on a northwest cliff face. This delightful cottage brings about a smile, for one can sense the aroma of fresh pumpkin pie wafting from the windowsill. Through the window, there is a woman busily preparing supper in a candlelit kitchen. Out in the flower-filled garden there are small children giving chase to one another. Their merry chase comes to a halt at the beckoning of a jangling bell, and at once they rush inside. After the family is through washing their hands and setting the table, they are joined by their father at the dinner table. Hands joined, and heads bowed, they begin with the Lord’s Prayer.
“Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
This must be what God means when he tells, “Be still and know that I am God”. To be still and rediscover one’s moments of inner peace is to be transformed. It is in these instances, these memories, frozen in time that one can begin to understand the true meaning of transformation, which the Lord intended.