I got up from my bed and looked out the blinds of my bedroom shortly after asking God to save me. I do not know all the reasons I was doing that. I do remember there was an expectation in my mind that things would be immediately, noticeably different. I cracked the blinds apart and stared out that window into our front yard. I will never forget what I saw. It was the same thing that I had seen every other time I looked in my front yard. The trees were the same, the grass was the same, the sky was the same…it was all the same.
This was my first disappointment with God. I truly expected things to be different. They were not any different than 30 minutes prior. The thought that went through my mind was fireworks in the sky or a marching band parading down Helms Pond Road. I was disappointed. There was not a big difference between the spiritual and the physical as far as how it played out in this life. Though I didn’t know it I was thinking like a Gnostic. The physical was bad and the spiritual was far superior and I expected to discern great differences. I did not know that I was going to learn to live out my spiritual in the context of the physical and the big changes and differences would be in my heart/mind and then in the behaviors that are transformed as I walked with God while engaging my world.
The change was taking place at that moment, though I did not know it. I was changing. My eyes were opening. No one knew it. No one could discern it, but the transformation of Rick Thomas was taking place.
My second disappointment with God came the next day, I believe. I was at work and there was this girl that worked up the line from us. I don’t remember her name. She was in her 20’s I suppose and was quite trim and tall. She was not ugly, but on the production line your perceptions can be strangely altered. Nevertheless the days she would come back to our area gave us an opportunity to gawk at her, make lustful comments and commit multiple adulteries in our minds. On this particular day I had the same thoughts and stole the same looks as any other day. However, something happened in my heart that I don’t remember ever happening before. I felt a tinge of conviction about the gawk, the lust, the temptation. I was curious about this. I actually felt bad.
There was something dynamic going on in my heart. I was lusting, something I had done for as long a I could remember. There had never been a tinge of guilt and a desire not to do this. I was getting clued in on a life-long battle now that my heart was regenerated. I was now in the world, but not of the world.