God who watches over you neither slumbers nor sleeps. – Psalm 121:4 (adapted)
T.S. Eliot wrote that we are “distracted from distraction by distraction.” We daily lose whatever focus we had. We attend the small matters, not the larger ones. Missing cell phone? Lost keys again? We love the idea of a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps—and rarely slumber or sleep ourselves. It is God’s job to tend eternity and ours to swim in it for our short term of consciousness. Why do God’s job? Plus, your cell phone is in your purse and your keys are in your pocket.
Baptism comes to mind. It is a physical reminder of a spiritual reality: you belong fundamentally to God. Perhaps you were baptized by a sprinkle, perhaps by a dunk. Perhaps you were marked by baptismal waters as a child but then the church forgot to keep hosing you down, to surround you in life-giving community. Baptism represents the deep water—the deep belonging to God—in which we continually swim.
Tutored by my own distractions, I have realized that it takes a whole, deep, not shallow, life to become a Christian. Knowing I am baptized means I was marked for Jesus. Knowing you are baptized means you are so well-anchored that you can sprout wings. It means dedicating yourself to a Godly, spirited, Jesus-led life.
Hesitate or forget to remember your own baptism? Or to baptize a child? There is no better time to plant a tree than yesterday. The God who neither slumbers nor sleeps is still waiting to focus you. Dive deep into the waters and meaning of baptism. As you arise, you will be able to float there and focus there.
Save us from the daily distractions, O God, for the deep waters of a baptized life. Amen.