We made a whirlwind trip to Bowling Green, Kentucky this past Sunday to see my niece and nephew get baptized. I don’t know about you but baptisms are my favorite. The tears, the joy, the name and life of Christ being imparted to another precious life. It was the kind of day you hold in your heart and cherish forever. Those kiddos are some kind of wonderful and so is their momma and so is their pastor and his wife. Awesome day all around. My sister, Gina, drove us because well, I’m sure she didn’t think it would be a very good idea to end up in Memphis. I’m older but she’s everything else. At least I know my place. #bless
We got back home and had two busy days of volleyball, dance, homework, and packing and my girls left yesterday for a 3 day camping/field trip with their school. On the way to drop them off, we had an extended version of the talk we have everyday before I drop them off to school.
“Don’t worry about yourselves. Worry about others. Don’t fret over where you’re going to sleep or who you’re going to sit with or who you’re going to ride with. Fret about her, who she’s going to sit with, who she’s going to ride with. Is she okay? Does she need a friend? If you take care of her, your needs will be met without you even noticing.”
They get so tired of hearing me I’m sure. What they may not know is that I’m preaching to myself. I was at an outing and walked into the building by myself the other day and my first thought was, “Will there be anybody here I know? Who will I talk to? WHO WILL I SIT WITH?”
And then my words snuck into the back door of my brain and I remembered all the talks I give my girls about focusing on others. It’s so easy to say and not very easy at all to do. But guess what I ALWAYS find? When you take care of her, everything else will be okay. When you focus on her and when you listen to her and when you make sure she has what she needs, your needs will be met without you even noticing.
I heard this at a talk one time and it burned itself into my brain—and I paraphrase, “There are two types of people – those who walk into a room and say: ‘Here I am!’ and those who walk into a room and say: ‘There you are.’”
Here’s the thing. In our Baptism, Jesus walks into our lives and destroys the darkness. He puts His very name on us, He puts His life in us, we are now HIS. We are buried with him into death and raised to walk in newness of life. We are people of the light, we are marked as Ones who have been redeemed. And now we can bring this hope to the world. There you are is finally possible.
If you’ve been down in the dumps or if you’ve lost the spring in your step or if you’ve lost your creativity and inspiration or if you’re just too darn focused on yourself (aren’t we all?), start walking into every situation with the thought on your heart, “There you are,” and you will be AMAZED at what happens. When you step into her life with interest and light and love, beautiful things will begin to unfold, both in her heart and in yours.
This is what it means to pick up our cross and die.
And this is the baptismal life we have in Christ—trusting in His forgiveness when we fail to love her as we love ourselves and new mercies and new chances every morning.