I guess the real trouble I have with this anamnesis during the act of baptism is that I have trouble thinking about what I'm not forgetting. Because I'm really looking at this person who is making this decision, thinking about the same decision I made, and wondering...if I ever really made it.
It seems so clear in the waters. In that defining moment, it's obvious. I'm giving my life to Jesus. But the more time goes on, the longer the years go by, the more I continue to grow in my faith, I wonder if I've given my life to Jesus at all. Even a sliver of it.
It's an easy question to ask, I suppose. My normal, everyday life doesn't feel like my baptism did. I don't have that same energy, that same passion all the time. I don't have that mix of anticipation and excitement and anxiety that kind of just seized my heart on baptism day.
And then, hauntingly, there's this: I can't help but wonder if my baptism wasn't something I thought I was doing for myself. I mean, I'm one of those persons who "gave my life to Christ" without even knowing Him. It wasn't about Him. It was more, for me, a letting go of my life. It was an act not of faith, but of hope. Hope that there might be a better way to live, even though I didn't understand yet what it might be.
So sometimes, I wonder if I'm not maybe stuck there. If I'm not still in that place where I keep letting go of my life without really giving it away. Hoping that God might pick it up, but not requiring or even expecting Him to.
These aren't easy questions. That's why I wanted to share them. Because I know I'm not the only one.
When I start thinking about questions like I asked yesterday - would I do it again? - during this anamnesis, I am grieved. I start thinking about all the things that day meant to me at the time, and I am struck by my own foolishness. Thinking...thinking it was anything when it wasn't what it was supposed to be. Wondering...wondering if I'm ever going to come to that place where I live by faith and not by hope.
Which is not to say I don't believe in God or that I have no faith at all. It's just....
Anyway, when I see someone dedicate their life in baptism, I'm brought back to all of these things. Most importantly, I think, I'm brought back to this place where I remember what it's like to want to do that. To want to trust God so wholly, so completely, that I can't help but give my whole life to Him. What it's like to have that moment of absolute assurance, excited nerves aside, and to take that leap. And I wonder if I'll ever really do it.
I wonder if I'll ever do more than let go of my life.
I wonder if I'll ever give it away.
This is the power of the anamnesis.