A blinding light drives him to the ground. A voice from heaven calls his name. The bystanders who are with him are struck speechless because they hear something but see nothing. Saul is struck blind. All of these elements add up to a swiftly moving, overwhelming experience. Saul’s encounter with the risen Lord on this Damascus road could not be more dramatic.
Those special effects aside, the most compelling aspect of this story is the question Jesus puts to Saul: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? (v. 4).
Apart from the Lord’s close identification with his church—to persecute it is to persecute him—what stands out most to me is the simple word “why.” “Saul, why are you doing this? Why have you chosen this course of action?”
Why?” is a question of an entirely different order than “What?” “When?” “Where?” or “How?” The question “Why?” prompts some soul-searching. Wrestling with that question and attempting to answer it is the necessary prelude to any meaningful change. Until we answer “why?” we will never fully discern our “what?”
Living faithfully requires pausing frequently to ask ourselves some simple questions. Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why did I choose this over that? Why am I here? Asking “why?” on a regular basis will help us keep our darker impulses at bay and anchor us more firmly on the path of purposeful living.
What is your “why?” that drives and motivates you?
Searching God, probe my soul until I align my purpose with yours. Amen.