Yesterday, I sat in the rain, soaking wet, for more than 4 hours for a Furman football game. For now, just keep that in the back of your mind.
Today, I had the honor of witnessing one of my dearest friends get baptized. Having known Kendall since freshman year of college (knowing her VERY well because we were roommates), this was a very big deal. She, by far, has the greatest amount of faith, the best discipline for listening to and following God’s call, and the most loving heart of nearly anyone I know. Though the entire time we have been friends her life has been nothing but a profession of faith, today was something totally different. Today was not about us. God was in that place. God was in that water. God was in that heart. And there is absolutely no denying it. As I stood next to that pool and watched one of my most cherished friends go down in the water and come back up completely renewed, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with emotion. For anyone who knows me, they have to know that is a pretty big deal. Eyes welling up with tears and heart bursting with joy, my mind raced. This is exactly what I am called to do. As scary/exciting/disquieting/hope-filled as it may be, I know that is what God is calling me to do with my life and my profession. And even though I have no idea how I will get there or how I will actually be used, I’m learning more and more every day that it’s not about my plan of how it will all happen. Thank goodness. But more importantly, I believe this is exactly what we are ALL called to do in our own way. Love people so much that we can’t help but become new people in Jesus Christ. It shouldn’t be that complicated, right?
As I mentioned earlier, yesterday I sat in the rain, soaking wet, for more than 4 hours for a Furman football game. My thoughts about that water were not the same thoughts I had about water today. Yesterday, I was consumed with my obligation to be at the game, my schedule after the game, and my expectation of what those uniforms will smell like for next week’s game. And I feel like that’s unfortunately common. We have so many reminders surrounding us of the things in life that truly matter (like the gift of baptism), but we constantly ignore them. We choose to be overcome by the attitude of misery we put on ourselves. Yet when I was wet from a hug from Kendall after her baptism this evening, I wasn’t concerned with anything else. I was far from miserable. I was remembering my own baptism and confirmation from sophomore year of high school. I was remembering the countless the pillow talks Kendall and I had as we processed life and faith and all of that during freshman year of college together. I was remembering why I am so passionate about my call to ministry. Why is this not more prevalent in our lives? You would think the profession of literally the biggest and best blessing of all time would mean just a little more to us, myself included.
So as I reflect on that fact that my 20th birthday is tomorrow, I am nothing but thankful. I am thankful to have been a witness to a beautiful baptism today. I am thankful to get stuck in the rain sometimes. I am thankful for Furman and all of the wonderful opportunities it has provided for me. I am thankful for my job at Pelham Road Baptist Church and the fact that they love me even though I frequently have no clue what I’m doing. I am thankful for a family that tries their best to understand me and love me despite my flaws. I am thankful for multitudes of friends that constantly surround me with love and support. And more than anything, I am thankful to be washed by the water. Because without Him, we’re just a bunch of soaking wet teenagers with incredibly limited perspective.