Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: Buried Alive
By RuthAnn Cornelson
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I didn’t know if I could, he was so much a part of me. I thought I’d never be free. I was like a slave to him, always doing what he told me. As I got older he sometimes didn’t even have to tell me. What he wanted had become what I wanted. It was like he and I were the same person.
Of course, I didn’t ALWAYS want to do what he said. Sometimes I felt like resisting. Conscience, people said. “Don’t you have a conscience? Doesn’t anything bother you?” ‘Course it does. Well, it mostly used to, more and more it doesn’t. You live a certain way long enough, and yeah, pretty soon you hardly notice that conscience thing.
Still, I see other people living different; living happy and free, caring about each other. I met a guy a while ago who seemed to really care about me, like he wanted me to be happy. The old man never really cared about me. The things that he told me would make me happy, didn’t, but I felt like I couldn’t break free of him. Maybe I didn’t really want to.
This guy told me about another way, a completely different way. He knew someone who could help me but I had to want out. I had to want to be free. It’s weird how you can want something and not want it too; like you’re having a war with yourself.
The old man tried to stop me, always telling me I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t make it, too many rules, I’d never be happy. But when I hung out with this new guy and his friends I could tell that they were happy, even more than happy, a deep down happy. Joy, they called it.
In a weird way the “rules” they followed, the way they lived, only made them free-er because it kept them away from stuff that would suck them down and trap them. Anyway, mostly they didn’t live by rules. Mostly they just didn’t want to do anything that would hurt someone else or themselves either. So they stayed away from stuff that would to do that.
And they really loved each other so that if one of them did start getting sucked down they actually stopped and helped him out. I’d never seen that before. It didn’t seem like they gave up much for all they got.
Anyway, these guys introduced me to the man they said could help me break free. In fact, he would actually break me free. All I had to do was tell Him that I wanted Him to, that I wanted to live the new way. I struggled with it though. Getting rid of the old man would be hard.
I decided to do it. I told Him that I wanted to be free, that I wanted to follow the new way. And it was done. The old man is dead. I’m free! In a sense I didn’t kill him but I made the decision that killed him. All that’s left now is the burying.
Burying the old guy is going to be a celebration. Everyone is going to know that I decided to be free, to follow the new way; that I chose death for the old man and new life for myself. I want the one who set me free to know that I’m proud to be called His and I’m going to say so in front of everyone: all my new friends, all my old friends, everyone who doesn’t know the one who can set them free. Everyone’s going to know that I love Him, that I’m one of the ones He has set free.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
So, I’m going down to the river and bury the old man in a watery grave. I’m going to get into the water carrying his dead self with me. I’m going under with him, going to be buried alive, but he’s the only one staying down, dead and gone. I’m rising up free and new because of the one who set me free.
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Romans 6:6 KJV
Romans 6:4 NASB
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