It was something I knew I had to do since a long time, even though every time the opportunity presented itself, I would run in the opposite direction. “Next time, I’ll do it, for sure.”
So, I kept dodging the inevitable for seven years. Until I crossed a date in the last week of September… “Yes, this is the right time. I can feel it.” I had been praying for a month, so have my friends and the rest congratulated by saying “you are going in the right direction”.
It was the baptism day and my bags were packed with extra clothes, a bottle of cream and specks, in case my contacts disappeared in the water that was bound to make me “a new creation”. Even though it was exciting moment, I kept trying to talk myself out of it, kept trying to be a “runaway believer”.
“Baptism is not really important. It’s just a meaningless ritual.”
“Ugh! It’s so messy. Your wet clothes are going to stink, especially since you have plans of going home late.”
“There are going to be sooooo many people watching you with their hawk eyes.”
But finally I had come to a point where not getting baptized felt like getting married without signing a marriage document = invalid in the eyes of the world.
It’s scary to sign the document, the declaration of two bodies being one… fingers shake, brows knit in apprehension as one thinks of the future… but the pen still glides over the dotted lines as the words seal two people’s declaration of love.
I wanted that seal. And so, I meant to do the same, even though I was scared.
“How long have you been coming to the church,” asked one of the three wise men. (Hmm, one was actually a woman)
“Do your parents know you want to get baptized?”
“Will they be upset?”
“Yes, they might stop my coming to church if I get baptized behind their backs.”
“But they know you are a Christian, isn’t it?”
“Yes, mum’s even reading ‘The Purpose Driven Life’.”
Long pause. While I tried to figure where the conversation was headed.
“You can get baptized, you have our permission. But, if you wait, even your family will follow suit. It might take time, but it will happen. Your mother has started reading a Christian book… so the seeds are planted…
Take a look at the bigger picture.
They won’t even feel betrayed and you might just be the witness in Christ that they need. But the choice is yours to make.”
Bigger picture… the words resonated as I went back to my seat and looked at my bag of clothes. I felt like I was back in Class VII when a class picnic to Sukhana lake was cancelled at the last moment. I had come back home in my bicycle and finished all the picnic treats while watching TV.
The same Class VII student leaned back on the seat and looked again at her bag of clothes… “Bigger picture…”
What is more fun? Going for a picnic all by yourself or with family that you love, even though it might take a while for such a thing to take place?
Though these questions call for another long pause, we all know the answers, don’t we?