Bob and I attended Willow Creek Church again this past Sunday.
I didn’t want to go. I had reasons for not wanting to go. It was 7:55, we have to leave by 8:30 to get there in time which means I wouldn’t have time for a shower. Further more (in my head) I would like to get a couple other things done, cleaning, making turkey dinner, blogging, stamping… (Yes, I am hanging my head in embarrassment over those lame excuses.) Bob asked if we are going and I said I don’t know are we? And he said I can’t answer a question with a question. I was baiting him so he would be the one to say no…then HE would bear the weight of the (bad) decision, not me. He was on to my scheming ways.
A while ago I told Bob that I wanted him to be the man in these situations and to not ask me if I wanted to go but to TELL me we are going. The two of us are easily dissuaded and I needed him to be strong for us both. He has taken this seriously. Bob’s new mantra is ‘A good man drags his woman to church.’ I’m so grateful he is a good man. Because I gave him a hard time this past Sunday he has kicked it up a notch and has set a challenge. He wants to see how many Sundays in a row we can attend church. Vacation doesn’t allow for skipping. I asked.
So, my good man dragged his woman to church. (I did not shower and no one said anything.)
This Sunday was baptism Sunday. I will admit that some services can make me weepy. Christmas and Good Friday-no surprises there. Any service that honors our military-ever since Matt served. I can’t even go to the Chicago Air and Water Show without tears now because of him. I just think of all our young men in some foreign country with the sound of those jets over head and I lose it.
Baptism Sunday also makes me cry. Not so much the baptisms where the parents bring their babies but the ones where the baptisee (poetic license, I made up that word) is old enough to decide to make a stand and declare that they are a follower of Jesus. The outward sign of an inward conviction. I think it moves me because these people know they are broken. I can relate. To know you are imperfect, broken and a sinner. To have self doubt and maybe even self hatred and then find out that someone loves you anyway is incomprehensible. As I watch these men and women I remember how bleak my life had been followed by the beauty of the life I have now, with Christ. I mean, being able to witness that in someone else? It really doesn’t get any better than that.
The tears just kept coming.
This baptism was set apart from others I have seen because each person wears a t-shirt with one word written on it. The words are different for each participant based on their own experience with coming to this decision. Along with the emotions seen on their faces there was the word. I watched as a whole list of reasons why this decision will make such a mark on the way these people will live the rest of their lives.
Bob leaned in at one point and said, “What would your word be?” “Finally” came to mind immediately but I’ve been a believer for a long time. I think “finally” came first because some (lots) days I feel like He is still waiting for me. I’m a believer but not such a good follower. I feel a lot of the time that He is up there waiting for me to follow better. Baptism is the outward sign of the inward commitment to a relationship with Christ.
A believer is totally different than a follower. Satan believed in Jesus. I know people who believe in Jesus but they are not followers. There are those that believe he is a man, not a savior. For me, making the commitment to Christ is a lot more than a dunk in the water. Now I have to toe the line. Now I have to follow Him. When I am following someone to a place I’ve never been I have to make sure I keep them in my sight. I have to keep up, speed up when they speed up, I have to turn when they turn and if I get stuck at a stoplight that they’ve cleared I panic a little. If they are good leaders they are keeping an eye on me too and they will see that I have fallen behind.They will pull over and wait for me to catch up.
Like someone else I know.
The word on my shirt?
How about you? What would your word be?