I was baptized on July 28th, 2013 at Gilbert Lake by Pastor Rick Snodgrass and I have no memory of my baptism. I’ve looked over the pictures from that day, hoping to spark something, but it hasn’t happened yet. My memories from that whole day are few and far between.
Pastor Chip recently asked me how I felt about this lacking. An odd question I thought, but it did get me thinking: What did I want from my baptism? What was the purpose? Was it inauthentic? Was it a poor attempt at ritual? Or a rite of passage that I some how missed?
Many paintings, pictures and film depict the great and life altering moments of baptism; those moments we have come to associate with baptism. The image of a person rising from the water, arms outstretched, water raining down from them and splashing dramatically into the water with light shining all around and doves descending. We are given the impression that our baptism will be a big, emotional experience. Going into my own baptism, there were thoughts running around my head of rising up out the water to blinding light and a choir of angels. Shockingly, that did not happen.
So, how do I feel about my baptism? I’m at peace. I spent many years, nearly two decades, refusing to be baptized, so just making the choice was significant. I did not make that choice to experience something, I made it because I believed God wanted me too. It was an act of obedience. My lack of memories do not negate what happened. I did it for Jesus, and like so many things, this comes back to relationship. How do I feel? I feel like a child of God and worshipper of my precious Jesus. I feel joy in knowing Him and I’m glad that I pushed aside my stubbornness to follow Him into the water.
Whether it is a beautiful and moving experience - or something else - baptism is an act of faith. I acted in faith and I continue to walk everyday the way I walked into the water - following Him.