Today you take an important step. It seems like something small and celebratory for those who share our faith in the US…the pastor dunks you under the water in front of your fellow believers and it’s over…time for a party.
Today is a big deal in a few ways…This journey is yours, no one else’s and this decision is evidence that you have considered your steps seriously and whole heartedly
You are joining brave and committed legions of Christ followers, who, for centuries now have been engaging in a show of allegiance to Jesus though baptism. In many parts of our world, this step constitutes rebellion punishable by death. In other cultures following Jesus is such an oddity that it limits career options and condemns the follower to poverty and ridicule for life.
If you had the misfortune to be born most parts of the Middle East, you would be placing yourself and your family at great risk for imprisonment, torture, and assassination. In the US, the most it earns for you is ridicule and curiosity
So take stock of yourself and realized that when you take this public stand, you are not alone. You are committing to yourself and all who witness the event that you stand with Jesus, and your real Father.
Get to know Him, Ryan. Take the time to shut down all the noise and listen. He is in his Word, and He is alive and active. Prayer is not a formal, planned God-talk conversation. Devotion is not a dry act around a table reading King James scripture while keeping your eyes open. (I think Jesus would shout “Stop it, you’re boring them to death!!” at most of what passes for devotions in our world.) He came to the world a baby boy, shunned by his culture as a bastard. Son of a Carpenter, who needed his diapers changed until he was old enough to care for Himself. When he helped his old man, he got splinters, and he got tired. Then He went on to challenge all who thought they could enslave men. He was bold and gentle…He was fearless in a fight, and never embarrassed to show affection. He fought with his mind, his words, and with his hands. He has never left a man behind. He’ll fight by your side, when the cause is right.
I recently heard John Eldredge describe Jesus, standing on the shoreline, hands in his pockets, looking out at the disciples, saying…”Hey guys, catch anything?” He still does stand there, asks you the same questions. You’ll find the conversations with Him occasionally troubling. Walking with this Jesus to whom you have now pledged yourself requires stepping out of our common culture. You are an uncommon young man, and your Father has known that since before you arrived on the planet. He is real, He walks with you and talks with you. Keep listening Ryan, He celebrates your heart and your life. He celebrates today, and as I am his flawed, temporary place holder in your life, He asked me to let you know: He is very, very proud of you.