I count myself fortunate to have been brought up in a Christian family. We attended a small Independent Methodist church where my parents were quite heavily involved. Some of my earliest memories are from the Sunday school there, especially the under 11s class that my mother ran, so from that young age I’ve always been quite familiar with the Bible’s narrative.
I can’t recall a specific time at which I first started to take on this faith as my own, though certainly I recognise that there is a fundamental change between my relationship with God before and my relationship with Him now. But, for one reason and another it never felt like the right time to get baptised - the church at home didn’t seem to put a lot of theological emphasis on it, and in any case there weren’t really practical facilities in their building. So when I came to Cambridge to study, and started attending a Baptist church, I thought that I had missed my opportunity. Baptism symbolises, after all, Christ’s transforming work in my life, and I feared that I would somehow be demeaning the significance of it, if I was unable to point to the particular time and place when this had happened.
More recently however, what I have gradually come to realise is that it’s better late than never. Or to put it another way: my baptism, even if not pointing to the time of transition, is at least representing a state of fact that is true, namely, that I believe that God is real and the claims the Bible makes about itself and about Jesus really do stand up to rational scrutiny; that my failures and outright disobedience leave me in a position of hopeless separation from Him, but despite that he has reached out to restore me completely through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, and that my only legitimate response to this is, with His help, to follow a pattern of obedience to his commands - including the one to believe and be baptised.
It is therefore my hope and prayer that with the help of His Spirit I will grow to be a better model of Christ, that I will learn to trust him with the those things in my life that I struggle not to keep for myself, and that I will continue to follow him closer and ever closer until that day when we meet face to face.