Yes the recognized term often used is actually Baptism by Fire, but in my recent case, it seemed the opposite was more accurate. Baptism by fire often refers to someone who gets thrust into an unfamiliar situation mostly out of necessity, and is expected to performed as a seasoned individual. For me, I used the reverse logic because I felt that a baptism would help generate a fire under me that had slowly died out over the course of the last year. I started the year out by setting a few goals for myself in 2018, and one of those was to get baptized by my pastor. Over the last couple of years I had become a regular church goer, but still lacked somewhat of the commitment I felt was necessary to feel a sense of belonging. I started to serve at the church, and became more involved with the process. Even though I was more involved, I felt like I still had an “out” particularly because I was volunteering my time, so that if I wanted to slack off, I could do so, and talk myself into a plausible reason for it. So one goal for this year was to be baptized, and make a personal commitment to my spirituality, and proclaim it publicly.
I had originally wanted to do this earlier in the year; however, when I got laid off from my job at he end of last year, I wasn’t sure what my life would be like in those early months of 2018. I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to move away for another job, or exactly where I would be, and what frame of mind. So my logic was once I had the job situation settled, I could then make a decision, and select a date for the actual event. As the months passed by and still no job, I started to question my desire to even bother with the process. The most important priority for me was to find a permanent job, and even though I had landed a consulting opportunity, my career aspects were very unstable. Finally at the beginning of Summer, I just decided to go ahead and schedule the baptism, and whatever happened career wise, I would just deal with it and the consequences, but I did not want to delay this event any longer. I also started to think that maybe this would give me the incentive I needed to really start pushing myself and rebuild much of the confidence that I had lost over the course of 9 months. I decided on late September to avoid the Summer tourist season, yet still be warm enough to not totally endure the frigid Pacific Ocean. The moment was every bit as moving to me as I thought it would be, because now I am accountable to myself to be a better person.
Like many people, I was baptized as a child, or at least I think I was as my memory is a little fuzzy regarding my infant days. What made this such an important goal for me was that I made the decision to do it for me. My first time, I didn’t have much of a say, and so this time I got to decide. I suppose I could have chosen to do this at anytime in my adulthood, but there is often still an element of uncomfortableness when people talk about faith and spirituality. So it took me to this point in my life where I no longer care what people’s thoughts are about my faith, or anyone else’s for that matter. I have spent a life time caring what other people think, and so far it has done me no good. The fire that has been brought on by baptism helps me to recognize the support I have received from friends both far and near. I was fortunate enough to have my oldest daughter Alissa, my very good buddy Brett, and a life long friend I have known for 30 years Katie, all present to see me launch what I have affectionately titled “Phase III” of my life. May the fire that was started with this process continue to burn strong in me for many years to come.