Memory and Imagination (2)
Baptism by full immersion is an awesome symbol of a profound, far-reaching change: both the resources that make it possible, and the process of change itself. It shows us what it is like to engage in an ongoing, even life-long, journey into greater commitment and a deeper, ever more radical, transformation. However, the rite itself is not repeated. This leaves the baptised person with nothing but a memory to support them in the days, weeks, months and years that follow. A vivid memory, perhaps, but a memory nonetheless. And the problem is that memories fade. Even vivid memories. Even good memories.
A memory has the power to go on feeding us, but it cannot do so unless it is refreshed, revisited and reinforced. And we have to remember to do that. We have to remember why it is important that we do it. We have to remember why we want to do it. This is why we need strategies, disciplines, structures and rules to order our experience. Because without them, we forget what is important. And when we forget things or neglect them, they are no longer able to feed us. They are no longer able to offer us life-giving power.