Wednesday morning I began pondering the difference between changing my mind and having my mind changed.
For reasons I’ll never quite understand, lyrics of random songs from my past bubble to the surface now and then. These words, from a Dallas Holm song from the 1970’s came bubbling up this morning:
Hey, I’m a believer now
Since Jesus changed my mind….
Admittedly, I had just finished reading Stanley Hauerwas’ A Cross-Shattered Church, so my thinking is in tune with my 2+ decades of reading Hauerwas.
I realized that I had usually imagined, or sung, those words along with Dallas Holm in the typical modern American mindset of “changed my mind” being about changing my mind the way one changes one’s mind to decide on water rather than diet coke.
Suddenly (now yesterday) I was struck with the realization that Jesus’ primary interest is notin helping me to change choices, but to actually change my mind.
Whenever I ponder the past 30 years of my life as a follower of Jesus, I am struck with the changes that have occurred in me. There are so many things that I understand so differently than I had in the past. In many cases, I can plot changes in my understanding over the years.
Sure, some of it is due simply to being 45 rather than 15. But there are many ways that I am not just an older version of the same person I was then.
One of Hauerwas’ trademark phrases is that
modernity names the attempt to produce people who believe they should have no story except the story they chose when they had no story.
When I was 15 – and probably until I was at least 28, I bought into the story-less story of modernity. While this is still (obviously) a part of my story, its place in my story has been subsumed within the story ofthe people of a God who came to earth in human flesh as Jesus.
This has changed my mind in far deeper ways than merely to affect the choices I make. It has, indeed, changed my mind.