A 9 year-old young man came to me last Wednesday wanting to talk about baptism. His mother told me that he had been contemplating it for well over a year.
As I sat down with him, I had a list of things in my mind that I thought most people should know before they are baptized. Please understand, they are more like guidelines than "stop signs." In other words, I wouldn't use "lack of knowledge" as a reason to prevent someone from becoming a Christian.
Listening to him talk, I could tell that he had been thinking about this decision for quite a while. And he had been thinking about it hard. But there were a few things I felt like he wasn't grasping, so I told congratulated him for mulling over this topic, asked him if he wanted to meet again next week (with any more questions he could think of), and told him to ask himself, "Am I willing to give 100% of my life over to God?"
We gave each other a high-five and I escorted him back to his mom. We spoke for a few more minutes and she was very appreciative of me taking time to speak with him.
I hurried back to my office to get some things and headed to the Wednesday night devotional in our gym. Standing in the hallway looking concerned was the mother I had just encountered.
"Isaiah is pretty upset," she said. "I found him around the corner crying. He kept saying, 'But, mom, I AM ready! I AM ready to give 100% to God! I don't need to think about it any more!"
At that point, Isaiah shuffled over to us. I crouched down and put my hand on his shoulder.
"I am so proud of you!" I whispered. "Listen, buddy. If you are really ready to do this, then who am I to stop you? If you're ready to do it, then let's do it tonight!"
His teary eyes brightened and he smiled at his mom.
I straightened up and apologized to her. "It's not my job to guard the baptistery. If he says he's ready, then let's do it."
Now I have a new little brother in Christ. Isaiah Mallet. What a cool kid! By the way, he's very forgiving, too...we're meeting again tomorrow night (a week after his birth into Christ!)