Two things you need to know about me: 1) I love the beach and 2) I’m a sucker for a good metaphor.
The reasons for my beach-obsession will surely not come as a surprise: long walks (I swear this is not the intro to a dating ad), sunsets (or sunRISES if you’re one of those morning people that I’ve heard about), sand in toes, wind in hair, sun on skin… The usual.
This year, I found another reason to love the beach. On April 10th, it became the place where I publicly declared my status as a follower of Jesus.
I had been baptized once before as a small child, which was a fact I clung to tightly for a long time. Even when I felt the pull toward baptism several times—especially throughout college, where I really made my faith my own—I ignored it.
When I became a partner with Summit, one of the commitments on the sheet that I signed was to get baptized if I hadn’t already. In my mind, I was thinking “Pshhh. Been there, done that.” My heart, though, was in a different place. It was racing as I stared at the page, my mind trying to convince me that this box did not apply to me—that it was already checked.
I think that for a while, the fact that I knew that I was a believer was enough for me. I was following Jesus and I knew it and the people close to me knew it and anyone who asked me could know it, too. But that gnawing feeling, the voice in the back of my head that kept getting louder, the obvious pull toward baptism… Those things didn’t go away. And they started to make me think that maybe I was looking at things in the wrong way—or that maybe I was missing the point.
This is where my love for metaphors comes in.
Say I just bought a brand new outfit that I’m really excited about and that looks super good on me. This outfit is an outfit like no other. The first thing I'm going to do is take a picture or show it to my friends so that they can join me in gushing over how cool this outfit is. But do I stop there? Obviously not. The next step is to wear the outfit. To take it out on the town. To show it off.
I see now that my faith was never meant to be a private thing. It is something to be shared and declared and celebrated. Jesus is so much more than a great outfit. Isn’t it weird for me to keep him tucked away in my closet?
There is just something to be said for publicly declaring something. For walking into the water and saying “YES” to the most important question you’ve ever been asked. For emerging from the water and running into the arms of friends who are taking this step with you or cheering you on. For finally boldly shouting out the name that you’ve been softly whispering for as long as you can remember.
If God is calling you toward being baptized, we want to stand alongside you and cheer you on in that decision. You can register to be baptized for our October 9th Beach Baptism (and find out all the details you need to know about attending Beach Baptism) right here. We're excited to spend the day celebrating with you!
Lexi Ciulla is a partner here at Summit. She has been attending Summit for almost two years, is a Connect group member, and volunteers in Base Camp as a Large Group Storyteller. Lexi is a Grants Manager for a nonprofit called Education Foundation and she loves doodling, laughing, napping, and telling anyone who will listen about how much she loves matt Damon.