Metanoia (The Process of Transformation)

dvickersby David Vickers

Have you ever considered how it would be if you had never committed yourself to following Jesus – if you had refused to accept His call on your life? This may have been quite recently or decades ago. In my own case, it was 8pm, June 16th 1984. It was a dramatic occasion at Mission England at Anfield.

In 1999, I started writing a book – a sort of autobiography. It wasn’t intended to be published. I wanted a record of my life up to that point so that, when I might lose my memory in older age, I could be reminded of people, events and situations that had influenced my continuing story. When I started it, it was titled, “Christmas Shopping in Damascus”. Twenty-one years later and I am still writing it and there is no sign of it being completed this year.

It is now called, “Joining the Dots”. It opens with a quote from Psalm 143:5
“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.”

Each dot is a place, time, person or event in my history. As I reflect on diaries and journals kept throughout my life, I consider what He has done to transform me. I can still remember my life before I became a follower of Jesus. I had a new job which I liked, but was living alone and going through a divorce. I was probably binge drinking too much. I was also senior steward of my local Methodist Church.

From that moment in 1984, things started to change. Some changes have been dramatic and some almost unnoticed at the time. Its not until I look back that I begin to recognise God’s hand in creating and joining up the dots in my life to get me to where I am today. I am at peace today, so I thank God for the seemingly bad and good things that have shaped me. I have rebelled occasionally; I have been proud of personal achievement. He has always lovingly nudged me back on the right path.

He has never forced me to transform. But I am blessed that I don’t rebel as much as I did. And now I have many stories to tell of my walk with Him. I can testify to His guidance, His love, His protection and provision. And I can also testify to His patience with me and the times when He chastised me, as loving fathers have to.

Romans 12:2 teaches quite clearly:

“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.”

So, look back and meditate on your life and give thanks for all the marvellous ways that God has been at work. You are special to Him and He will never give up on you. He is preparing us for eternity with Him