Monday, August 30, 2010

Snapshot of Obedience

Earlier this summer, my long time friend Meghan Baird called me to ask me a favor. She wanted to get baptized, and she was wondering if I would be willing to do it.

I first met Meghan when I was working with the college and young professionals ministry of Chestnut Ridge Church which was at that time called H2O--you can listen to some of the H2O Podcasts here. She was working on her second college degree after completing an undergraduate degree in Art at Shepherd University. Her focus this time was International Studies. She had been exposed to some of the great needs in this world, and she had set a goal of gaining educational experience that would help her serve others. Currently she is working on a Master's Degree in Counseling, and she wants to use this to serve mission agencies and educational programs in the developing world.

What struck me about Meghan from the first time I met her is a contagious passion for Jesus and justice. During my life, I have been fortunate to meet many who have these deeply linked passions, and I have had the privilege of helping them pursue both together. For eight years of my life, I worked for a ministry called Great Commission Ministries, and Meghan was one of the amazing leaders I had the privilege of working with.

When Meghan called to ask me to baptize her, I marked my calendar, and zealously guarded the weekend she was planning her baptism. Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of listening to her share her story, and why she wanted to take this step of obedience to Jesus and demonstrate this outward symbol of her deeply held faith. She told a community of about 100 friends of her faith in Jesus, her zeal for living as a sign and witness to Him, and of her desire to share this special day with all of them.

I had the pleasure of working with her not only as a member of our college ministry, but also as an employee of Nuru International. Meghan served as the Education Program Manager on Nuru's second foundation team, and also worked for a semester with the Nuru grassroots team and helped lay the foundation for our campus chapters as well as our nationwide awareness event, Be Hope To Her.

Yesterday, I had the distinct honor of baptizing her as her brother and as her friend. As I walked into the water with her, my mind flooded with many of the memories we had shared over the last five years. I thought about her baptism, and knew that her roommate would be taking photos as we walked into a small pond. And then I thought about the idea of obedience, and the snapshot, symbol, and gesture of obedience that baptism offers.

Each day, I believe we are challenged to live a better way. As C. S. Lewis has said, "It's not your business to succeed, but to do right; when you have done so, the rest lies with God." As you read this, may you find yourself in multiple situations that lead to snapshots of obedience where you choose to do right, and leave the rest to God.

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