Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Acts 19:1-8; Psalm 67; John 16:29-33
Over 200 years ago, a Greek scientist sat in his tub to take his bath. He was troubled by a problem set by the king – how to determine if the crown was made of pure gold. This problem had serious consequences as failure to solve it might mean death. As he sank into the tub, an idea struck him and he was so excited by his discovery that he rushed out of his bathroom, stark naked, and ran through the streets yelling ‘Eureka, eureka! I found it! I found it!’ Indecent exposure aside, Archimedes was so excited by his ‘Aha moment’, where he had an insight that solved his problem, that he just had to share his excitement with others. If someone can be so excited about displacement and volume, I’m sure we should be equally excited about Aha moments in our faith as well.
We see Aha or Eureka moments in the disciples as they spoke to Jesus in the gospel. They finally got the insight that Jesus came from God and this came only after extensive explanation and metaphors from the Lord. Their claim to belief came with great joy and excitement because they finally saw the light after being confused for so long. It was a moment of understanding for them, a moment of insight where they realise that God has been there with them, loving them all the time. Yet, the Lord doesn’t seem to encourage this and instead tells them that despite their insight, they will be scattered. Why did he say that?
The Aha moments are moments of insight but they are but moments, fleeting feelings that fade if not tended to. What we do with our Aha moments are important. Do we allow them to pass unattended or do we do something with them? An Aha moment that pertains to faith can be seen to be a conversion experience of sorts, an insight into our relationship with God. Its moving from one form of (possibly lesser) faith to a greater one. It could happen as we go about our normal lives but after this moment, our lives should not remain the same. The Lord asked his disciples in a roundabout way – what are we to go with this insight? How does it change our lives?
The problem with our Aha moments is that we often keep them for a while but lose interest quickly, allowing them to get scattered in spirit. The 1st reading of today shows us how the experience of conversion by repentance can get a little stale or stagnant and that we need some renewal to move into a deeper relationship with God. We shouldn’t be self-satisfied with our faith and allow for continual conversion and insight. We want to be ready for the Aha moments as they occur in our lives so that we can be converted, just as the disciples who received the Holy Spirit were. They were then empowered to spread the Word of God with greater zeal.
Conversion is continual, as should our openness to God. Just as we can’t have an Aha moment if we’re not quite prepared for it like Archimedes was, we also can’t be converted if we’re not open to allow the Lord to work in us. We seek opportunities to be open and keep a lookout on how the Lord might be wanting to ‘disturb’ our lives with new insights. We pray for the grace to be excited enough with these insights to share them with others. While we don’t need the indecency of Archimedes, we do hope to have some of the excitement to share our conversion to help others on their spiritual journeys.
When was our last Aha or Eureka moment that led us towards God?