Deciding to decide is the story of our modern-day lives. It seems we decided on something and then begin re-thinking our decision before we even act on our decision. It’s like we select a pair of shoes, walk around the store with them, put them back, walk around the store without them, pick them back up, pay for them, try them around the house, and still take them back, only to wish we kept them in the first place!
Life was like it is now when Jesus arrived on the public scene. Governments occupied territories that were not their own. Religious leaders were demanding people live, think, and believe a certain way. Everyone complained about taxes, worried about supporting their families, and muddled through their lives.
Along comes Jesus. Jesus wasn’t the usual new age thinker with reworked principles on how to live your best life. His revolutionary message was about the transformation of the total human being – moving from animal instincts (flight or fight) and ego to love and compassion; from a judgmental, either/or worldview to forgiveness and acceptance. The transformation Jesus spoke about was a complete system upgrade and baptism became the symbol of that upgrade.
In fact, the season of Lent has always been a time to prepare new believers for baptism. A decision to become a follower of Jesus and join the community of believers was a conscious, emotional, life-changing decision. Jesus died for the message he brought and his followers were also targeted. It was necessary to count the cost prior to making a public confession of faith because no one knew whether or not they too would be persecuted and executed for their beliefs.
Most of us today don’t face the life-or-death reality for our beliefs. But there is still a cost. Wanting a change in my life is different than deciding to change my life. And change in my life is different than an upgrade of my life. Once I upgrade, I will have updates along the way. Am I willing to embark on that journey? Am I open to what I may learn about myself? Am I willing to let go of my old way of looking at people and issues and trust my new eyes and new heart to guide me? Is or will God really be there for me? What am I expecting from myself and God? Does a first century Jesus even make sense in my 21st century reality? How am I going to decide to decide?