I must have asked myself if I was sure about this somewhere around a million times. Am I actually going to go through with this? Why do I need to do this anyway? Isn’t my salvation enough?
After my salvation experience about a year and a half earlier, I did notice some great changes in my life. However there was always the sense that I could always go back to my old way of life if this Christianity thing turned out to not be what I thought it was. After all, I was a liar with an immoral heart and a hypocrite. I never did open myself up completely to those close to me. I was a Christian now, but wondered why I still struggled with things. I even started serving as a helper with the youth group, and often found myself talking to young men telling them that they shouldn’t be doing the very things that I know that I struggled with in my own mind and heart.
I was told that the water baptism was about a bunch of different things, and it all made sense. But most importantly my Jesus told us to do it, and to me that was enough. However, I still struggled with the idea of going through with it. Now I understand why. I didn’t want to let go of the past. I enjoyed my past. I had fun, and if I were to do this whole baptism thing, then I knew that it was done.
I don’t know about everyone else, but to me the act of water baptism was about laying it all down. I had to take the old me and lay it all down before Christ and let Him know that all of the good ole “fun” stuff is not what I wanted out of life anymore. I wanted Him. I was dying to the world that day, and quite frankly, that scared me. I didn’t truly know what life would be like on “the other side” for me. That’s the next thing…
The “new” life. For me water baptism is also about a “resurrection,” just like my Jesus did. After He beat death and rose from the grave, I always imagine that he came back greater and stronger and even more confident. I doubt that the Son of God lacked in these areas to begin with, but the other side of resurrection had to be pretty special. And, that’s where I was about to go. I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know that it had to be a special place.
Finally, it was all too public. Why did we have to do it at a public beach? In front of all of those people? Now I know why. I needed my life to make a statement to the world. I had to make the statement that I was leaving it, and coming back different. People had to see me go down, and come back up.
So the day came, and I walked out into that water and waited for my turn. I was excited, but still unsure. When my turn came, with a pastor on each side of me praying, they laid me back into the water. There I was, completely submersed. I know that I was only down there for a second or two, but it also seemed like an eternity. As the water swirled over my face I remember opening my eyes and looking up. I saw the sun shining down through the water on me, and I remember thinking that God was out there somewhere smiling over me.
When I came back up, I came back up as the “new” me. All I could do was to stretch my hands up to the sky and praise His Name. And as I looked up to the sky, I was suddenly reminded of how cloudy it was outside that day. Then I just smiled, and took my first step forward knowing that God had smiled upon me that day, and that my life would never be the same again. Amen.
Note: Written for weekly writing contest [Christian Baptism] at www.faithwriters.com.