Remembering Who I Am
I love the sound of running water. The sound of the small table top fountain in my office provides a soothing background soundtrack to my day. Summer evenings in my backyard are often taken up next to the small pond complete with waterfall. The sound of water flowing is a powerful reminder of who God has shown me to be.
I’ve always enjoyed the sound of running water. One day, I will have a baptismal font in our Sanctuary that features running water. There is such a strong connection for me between water and baptism. In general, I will seek out whatever opportunities I can to touch water and remember my baptism. Like my United Methodist colleagues, I don’t believe that re-baptism is necessary, but frequently remembering our baptism (or that we have been baptized) is a vital part of growing in faith, spirituality and discipleship.
Lately though, there has been some movement for me at the core of this experience. For most of my life, I’ve been quite uncomfortable with the idea of crossing myself (ala the Roman Catholic tradition). I understand the act of crossing as a convenient way to remember the means of Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Trinity, but it always seemed so perfunctory. However, in the last month, as I’ve touched the water in my office or the water at the entrance of the sanctuary at the monastery I often visit, I find my self drawn to crossing myself. As I engage in this act, I’m not specifically thinking about the Holy Trinity. Instead I’m remembering that in the waters of baptism and my subsequent call to ministry I’ve been claimed by and for the cross of Christ. It is this claim that must define who I am and how I view my ministry and the world.
What is earth shaking for me is not the simple realization of this truth. I’ve known this for a very long time. The shaking comes from deep within my spirit. I’m claiming this not as an intellectual truth or belief, as it is something that is simply attached to me. I’m experiencing this truth at the deepest level of whom I am and who I am with God. I realize more deeply than I ever have before that I come to the font, the table, the pulpit, the sick bed and to the manger not as a spectator but as a participant. I belong there not because of my choice but because of God’s choice of me.
What I’m finding is that this deep and deeply personal transformation that is happening in me is continuing to well up and spill over into every aspect of my life and ministry. Distractions and detours still come up from time to time, but the durations are shrinking and I’m more quickly finding my way back to the path. Remembering who I am at such a deeply spiritual level and the ability to touch this truth is keeping me and drawing me ever closer to Christ.