OK, I choose reality. It is not a frivolous choice. I am in. It is not a choice that allows me to compartmentalize my life. It is not a choice that allows two masters. I cannot live with a divided soul. I am either all in or I am not in at all.
When I look about me at my time in history, frivolity bombards my existence. From entertainment, to advertising, to religion, to the daily search for happiness, I witness little reality. It is like grasping for smoke of a campfire that disappears between the fingers.
I now see life based on what happened in a garden, on a hill, and an open tomb.
Jesus being completely human as a man like me received the spirit of God at the time of his baptism to live with him throughout the remainder of his life and ministry on earth. God’s spirit enabled him to serve those he met along his path. God’s spirit enabled him to stay connected with the Creator, his Father. God’s spirit enabled him to face the pain and suffering of the crucifixion.
God’s spirit—given to me at the time of my own baptism—also empowers me through life and enables me to face my own trials and temptations. What if I had attempted to trudge through life without the power of God’s Spirit? What if I had missed the garden by failing to imitate Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection through the symbol of baptism?
The best I can determine, in every example cited in the Acts of the Apostles, God forgave all previous sin at the point of baptism, and believers became one with the body of Jesus. It was at baptism with Jesus that each declared, “OK, I am in.”
I was 11 years old when I declared, “OK, I am in.”
I would not want to sit down and attempt to compile a list of a lifetime of imperfection and the times I did not—and do not—meet God’s expectation for me. However, each night when I lay down on my lumpy mattress, I can close my eyes in peace because those eyes—in the overall scheme of my daily walk—focus on Jesus.
In the beginning of these reflections, I referred to my life as being lived in focused thirds. In the beginning third of life I focused on learning, the second third of life focused on doing, and now I look to the finish line with my focus on being.
It is only from a position of having declared, “OK, I am in,” that makes it possible to focus on being. Outside of Jesus, I cannot be who God created me to be.
What are your reflections? Stay tuned.