I was actually going to title this post "Where You Find Yourself" but changed my mind after getting an email this morning about an upcoming youth retreat in France this weekend with an expected attendance of 1400. Wow. If you've followed this blog about the general spiritual tenor in France, you know this is an incredible thing. And a part of me found myself wishing I could be there for it. I'm of course too old, and too far away.
So I remind myself of the usual: We're to serve God wherever we find ourselves. And that's true, no doubt.
But some comments during my church's elders meeting this morning got me to thinking about baptism. "Thinking" here really means, pouring over every passage in the New Testament that uses any form of the word "baptize". (That's just what I do You have your hobbies, I have mine.)
And here's what I see. Just about any way you slice it, baptism is a sign that the one being baptized has chosen to identify with Christ. This seems especially appropriate today, Good Friday. Christ died for all, and the baptized say, "Count me in, too." It's a death to self. We stop living for ourselves. (Of course, coming out of the water symolizes the resurrected life we live, but that's Sunday.)
So today, instead of thinking about ministering where I "find" myself -- Iowa instead of France, I'm giving more thought to ministering at the point where I lose myself. The first is about geography while the second is about my commitment.
In the meantime, a shout out to anyone who could lose themself so much as to get together 1400 French youth for an entire weekend. Talk about a death to self. God bless 'em.