I was baptized on 6th May 2012. There was no sky-splitting lightning, no earth-shattering thunder, no majestic chariots of fire as one would have thought befitting of this dramatic turning point in my life.
I remember myself expecting something to happen. Anything. I remember feeling the need to make something happen. Because after all, isn’t today that one special day of baptism? Something dramatic surely must happen.
But the truth was nothing of that sort happened. I remember it all being very simple; A ceremony, a few songs, a public utterance of my faith, my first communion… but most precious of all – a feeling of coming home.
In 2011, I was lost. Emptiness overwhelmed me and I drowned it out with schoolwork, dance and friendships. I went through the motions of life like a puppet without a soul, strung by the puppeteer called society. But the thing is, I had a soul that was crying out and ‘society’ was not a good teacher.
It got to a point that this dissonance within me became too big to ignore. In 2012, I caved in to the insistent but gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit. I chose to return to the God whom I had turned away from, in humility and shame, and that culminated in my baptism in May 2012. I have come home.
The return to God had been a painful time of repentance but nevertheless; it was a process of overwhelming joy. I came to discover and rediscover joy, beauty, riches, glory, meaning, purpose and everything I never knew I had missed in the first place, and never knew that could possibly exist in me.
Yes there was no clanging cymbals or dramatic fireworks on that day of baptism. But I discovered something infinitely more magnificent, more meaningful and more beautiful than anything else in the world – the reunion with God.
In that simple church hall, through that simple ceremony, using that few same words of public declaration of faith used by so many others before me and will be used by still many more after me, I felt His embrace. To me, that intimacy I experienced with God surpasses the greatest physical manifestation of baptism that can possibly happen.
That was 3 years ago. Today I have moved countries, grew older (and hopefully wiser) and moved out of my parents’ house. Today I am writing this in a small bedsit in the bustling city of London in a time zone 7-8 hours behind Singapore’s. Today I may not be home in Singapore with my beloved family but even so, I am home in Christ.
And God is saying, “Welcome home” each day and every day as I continuously seek after Him for that same intimacy and union that I first learnt to feel on 6th May 2012.
Is this worth more than some lightning, thunder and chariots of fire? You bet.