Saturday, June 21, 2014

Stoplight Conversations

Despite the fact that the air temperature was 67 degrees and the skies overcast, I agreed to take my kids to the city pool. That's the beauty of a pool pass...I really don't care if we leave after five minutes because they realize it's too chilly to swim. But we ended up staying an hour, and that's not really the point of this story.

We're sitting at a stop light on our drive to the pool and my eight year old son says from the backseat, "When can I get baptized?"

Playing it cool, I asked him why he would want to.

"Because Jesus says if you want to follow Him you should get baptized."

Alright. Good answer, buddy. "You know you can follow Him before you get baptized, right?"

"Yeah, I just want to."

I promised that we would talk more about it and continued our drive to the pool. It was a deep conversation in the space of a red light and I was thinking how grown up he was getting.

Then he turned back into an eight year old and said something snarky to his brother. I opened my mouth to say something like "That's not acting like someone who wants to get baptized," but felt an invisible pop upside my head. (Not a real one. An imaginary one. Not sure which is worse...)


It was like watching conversation bubbles pop all around me as everything wrong with that statement flashed into view:

  • Don't you dare say that to him.
  • If you think you have to act a certain way to be good enough to get baptized you are missing the point.
  • Do you always act like someone who has been baptized?
 And I realized how guilty I am of believing the statement I almost made to my son. 

When I start putting qualifications on who can choose to be baptized in Christ's name, I cheapen the grace He came to give. . .the whole reason we follow and get baptized in the first place. 

Instead, I need to remember that the Lord he's already decided to follow will work in his heart, and learn to give him the grace and room to grow that Jesus gives me. 

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