It was a little after midnight on a Saturday night as over a hundred of us left the building and the activity that had just been completed. Outside we went off toward what seemed like a barren area. We walked through the dusty terrain, along small paths, and around the brush. I sorta knew what was going on, but wasn’t all that sure of the details or why we were heading out of this perfectly good building that I know had water. But I was new so why not tag along and see why this journey took place. We finally reached a clearing with a small stream of water flowing through it, if you could call it water. Now it was at night so I couldn’t see all that well, but it looked more like muddy soup than any water that I would want to go into. But there they were; two of them wading into the waist-deep dirty water. Everyone seemed so excited and upbeat on the walk out and now they were even more so as they sang and rejoiced. Then it happened, the campus minister assisted the girl in going under the water. Now she was muddy from head to toe, with all that in her hair. But they all rejoiced all the more and again broke out in song. Me? I broke out in logical thinking-- now she has to go back to the building we had just left and use some of the good water that was there to clean up. As we walked back avoiding rocks and brush in a path that was at best not so good, I kept pondering the thought, Why? I knew not to ask, because when a few weeks earlier I had asked a question about why the minister wasn’t wearing a robe, the response was “Why does he have to?" So rather than getting a similar response, I decided to keep this thought to myself.
For a number of weeks the thought kept going through my mind, Why go out into the muddy little stream and get all dirty, when there was ample water inside to sprinkle or pour over her head? I knew that she wanted to be right with God. I knew that at the midnight meeting on that retreat she decided to commit her life to God and be baptized, but why the muddy little stream? As I kept pondering and wondering, studying the Bible and learning, the answer eventually came to me. It was a simple answer, one that was almost too simple: because God said to. He calls us not to have water sprinkled over our heads or poured, but for us to be baptized, immersed, fully engulfed in the water, even if it is a little dirty. Then my thinking of the foolishness of that girl from that night shifted to admiration. It wasn’t convenient for her. But, it was what God said to do. As we go through life sometimes the world, others, or even those who call themselves followers of God will encourage us to take a path, a stance, or an action that is not in keeping with God’s ways. Make sure you know God’s word, His ways, and don’t be afraid of a little muddy water!
Part of my journey,