Growing up Southern Baptist, I remember hearing it said that Presbyterians and Catholics may use the "sprinkle" method of baptism, but we Baptists "hold 'em under till they bubble." It always made me laugh.
Our church held a baptism service on Sunday, the first I'd seen in a couple of years (they've traditionally held special services for it.) Then, Wednesday night, my small group talked about getting baptized. The repetition of the topic struck me, and it brought back memories.
I was eleven. My entire family--Mom, Dad, Beth, and Melanie--crammed into our tiny downstairs bathroom for the event. I wore a turtleneck, I think, and jeans, which (for those who've never tried this) are incredibly difficult to get off when wet. We filled the bathtub as full as it would go, and I had to sit like kids do, with my knees bent and feet pointing in opposite directions.
In spite of the comical elements, I felt both excited and serious. At that age, there was nothing I wanted more than to be God's and know for sure I was His.
Dad did the honors. He asked me, as Baptists generally do as part of the ceremony, if I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I said yes, almost desperately; like a girl might to the love of her life before he has a chance to change his mind. Then "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" and the ritual was complete.
It's such a little thing. One quick symbol. But for some reason, it matters. I remember it because it mattered. My life didn't change right there, but that which we Baptists call an "act of obedience" stands for a thousand changes, great and small, throughout my life. Maybe because so little in life is sacred, especially nowadays, this one short memory means so much to me.