In the next chapter of the Kingdom, I went to an Alpha course with my friend “White Flower”, to further explore the meaning of life and our Christian faith. Bear Grylls recommends Alpha. You don’t have to be a Christian to go to Alpha, although you will probably encounter the Lord while doing the course, if you haven’t already met Him. The churches running Alpha make all explorers feel very welcome.
To conform, or transform?
On our last night of Alpha, this is what we were taught;
“There are two types of Christian; the chrysalis and the chameleon. The chrysalis is completely transformed, whereas the chameleon merely changes colour to suit its surroundings. Make a new start, let God transform you inwardly by a complete change.”
I had always found safety in conforming. I would stare out from my camouflage at a world of hurt. Finally, I came to a place where I had to choose what I was going to be. Conforming would have been the safe option, but I would have stayed a chameleon. My transformation happened in steps. First, the cocoon. God had been teaching me about boundaries. Now He wanted me to enforce them. Transforming myself felt scary and dangerous, but I had to do it if I was to leave behind the things that harmed me.
“Do not conform any longer 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
So when it came to the last question in Alpha, how can I make the most of the rest of my life? I had to decide whether to be a chameleon, or a chrysalis, whether to use camouflage, or a cocoon, whether to conform, or transform.
My story about that is told in Chapter 32 Breaking with the past.