Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
- TITLE: Wesley's First Step
By Deborah Engle
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“Thanks for letting me drive, Dad. The guys are going to be blown away!”
Owen chuckled and said, “Well, it’s not that often that we get a brand new car. We should all enjoy it...responsibly, of course. A brand new car and first string halfback...can life get any better for you?” After a moment Owen turned to face the driver. He smiled and began again, “Of course it did... last Sunday. Son, I hope you know how happy I am about your decision to accept Christ. I wish I had made that choice earlier in my life. I hope your new faith will help you avoid making the kinds of bad choices I made.”
A smile had appeared on Wesley’s face. “I’m happy, too, Dad. You’ve been a great dad, though, ever since you committed your life to Christ. I am gonna try to make good choices, and since I’m a Christian now, God won’t let me get myself in too much trouble, right?”
“Whoa!” Not quite sure how to respond to such a proclamation, Owen spoke carefully. “Son, you are still the one who will make decisions about your behavior. God has answers for every situation, but we need to be willing to bring them to Him, and then obey, whatever that may mean.”
“Okay, I’m cool with that.”
“As a new Christian, God does ask something of you, and it’s your choice whether or not you will obey. Didn’t I hear Pastor Hall talking to you about that on Wednesday night?”
“You mean about being baptized?” Wesley cleared his throat and said, “Yeah, that. I don’t know. What’s the point, anyway? How can baptism make me a better Christian?”
Wesley turned into the high school parking lot just then and Owen realized their time was up, even though the conversation was not over. As his friends noticed the new car and began to call out to him, Wesley parked, grabbed his sports bag and opened the door. All Owen had time for was a quick wave and a hollered, “Score me a touchdown!”
“Last night’s game was great! I think we might be looking at the next Huron League champions!” Owen proudly declared as Wesley walked into the garage.
“Of course we’re gonna be the champs. We’ve got so much talent, no one can beat us!”
“Last year you had the same roster, though, and your record was pathetic.”
“Yeah, we stunk last year but things are different now.”
“How’s that?” Owen asked, moving the lawn mower out to the yard.
“Coach Hamilton’s how’s that. He’s great!” Wesley followed with the gas can.
“You’re right. It’s obvious Bob Borden is a much better tennis coach than he is a football coach. Hamilton was a pro player and he knows football through and through.”
“Most of us have his rookie card,” Wesley said as he began to fill the tank.
“And there’s something else. Everyone on your team knows that Coach Hamilton is the authority. Whatever he says, you guys do without hesitation. When you were doing two-a-days, none of you questioned him, even when you didn’t like the demands he made. Remember the day you had to report for practice at 6 o’clock in the morning? None of you understood the reason for that, but you all showed up.”
“That day got so hot in the afternoon, we would have crashed on the field, but we were done by 10 o’clock. He knew it was going to be a scorcher, but he didn’t tell us. He just said, “Be there.”
“Life is like that. You are committed to Coach Hamilton because you respect his authority. In life, God is the ultimate authority, and every believer should be fully committed to obeying Him. Sometimes you won’t see the purpose, sometimes you won’t want to do what He says, but every time, obedience will be the best choice.
Wesley set the gas can on the pavement and turned to look at his dad. “So you’re talking about baptism?”
“It shows everyone where you stand. It also gives you your first opportunity to obey God. Kind of like a first step to get you moving in the right direction.”
After thinking on that for a moment, Wesley made his decision. “I like that. I’ll talk to Pastor Hall after church tomorrow.”
“And Dad, can I drive in the morning?”
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