A thought occurred to me the other day that, as I’m slowly growing and maturing, I essentially become a new person every decade or so. I imagine this is true of most people and I began to ponder the theological implications of this. When I first accepted Christ, I was around four years old and I did it because my mom wanted me to. I don’t remember much about the situation and what I do remember, may not be completely accurate, but I seem to recall my mom asking me if I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart and I could tell by the way she asked that my answer should be yes. Then she asked me to repeat after her and I did and she was happy. Not long after that, I was baptized and I pretty clearly remember that my primary motivation for that was the fact that the baptism was in a pool and I was promised I could go swimming afterwards. Now, I’m not saying this to slight my mom or her methods of discipling me, that’s a topic for another post. The reason I bring this up is to show the mindset I was in at the time; I was a child and therefore my understanding of God and what it means to follow him were limited.
Years later, towards the end of my time in high school, I realized just how ignorant I was when I first gave my life to Christ and decided to re-dedicate myself to Him. This time, I wasn’t baptized, but I did go forward during a youth event and pray with my youth pastor and, for a time, I felt that I had become a mature Christian. It’s only recently that I’ve become aware of just how little I knew back then and this has lead me to wonder if, as Christians, we should somehow formally re-dedicate our lives and possibly be re-baptized as we grow into these new people with new understanding. At least for me, it feels like the promises I made at four to follow Christ don’t mean much, they were a misguided attempt and being a obedient. My re-dedication in my teen years was more authentic, but still lacking much of the maturity and wisdom I now poses. It almost feels like I need to check in with God and say, “Even though I am now able to perceive more of what following you means and how difficult it can be, now that I know it’s not going to solve all my problems and may at times create more, I’m still in this.”