You get dunked in salty water and you don’t feel much different. Until you look back ten years to the day– and see how everything changed.
April 17, 2004. I hadn’t ever been baptized so when a group from my school was forming, it sounded like a good idea, a “finally!”. I was ten years old and been following Jesus for three years. Left out of “oh I got baptized here and then” conversations, I made a follow-my-peers, join-the-movement decision. Get baptized. Well, more like join-the-romance.
You get dunked in salty water and you don’t feel much different. You giggle with joy but don’t have that intense-transformative-everything-has-changed feeling many people have described. But still, someone snaps a photo of you with your family, the accomplished swag set on your face. But you’re missing someone… one brother. If you limited your memory to that moment, you would have felt defeated. Yet ten years on, you also know that 2004 was the year that the absent brother would be baptized himself. Maybe you do feel different.
2005, one year on. The year you traveled to Kansas City and found kids that loved God more than you. Your I-have-it-all-together, proper reputation was intimidated. Then, inspired. You came back to salty water of the Pacific more in love with Jesus than you could ever know.
Could you stop? 2006, 2007, 2008… 2014… nope. Every of these past ten years have been transformative… and you could argue that it was just “growing up” and every ten year old would mature by the time they hit their twenties. But that’s only part of the point. What about growing up with Jesus? What about walking with him as you navigated the awkwardness of 7th grade, the leadership of 8th, entering a new school and dealing with high school proms? What if you had a constant friend when you traveled to new countries, what if you had someone that held you close when your 15-year-old heart broke, or when you as an 18-year-old left home to the unknown?
What if you had changed– all because of the person that was with you all those ten years?
You get dunked in salty water and you don’t feel much different. Then you blink, you’re twenty years old, you’re living in a country which he called you to, and you’re in love still. Far further in this adventure than that ocean ever suggested. Far more drenched in the knowledge of God. Far deeper in the romance than you ever dreamed was possible.
You won’t ever forget it.
“Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the young women.”
-Song of Songs 2:2