'Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.” - Matthew 3:13-15
In January 2006, I had a wild idea: I would apply to graduate school. It might not seem that wild now, but in January 2006, I had only been teaching for 5 years, I had a one year old at home, and a husband who would start attending classes toward his own degree. I was heavily involved in student activities and regularly up late grading papers or writing lesson plans. I envisioned that one day I might want to become a school leader - an assistant principal, a principal, or a district curriculum writer. By that point, I hadn’t even served as a department chair. I had no leadership experience. But I imagined that one day, I would want that kind of leadership - and I needed to be prepared.
When I reflect on who I was in 2006, I understand that I wasn’t where I needed to be yet. I didn’t have the minimum requirements to apply for a position. I hadn’t served on the teams or in the roles that would prepare me for leadership opportunities. I was just a great teacher with the desire that one day I might want to do more.
Fortunately, Jesus provides a model of preparation. As Jesus was preparing to enter ministry, he went to be baptized by John the Baptist. Even when John protested, asking “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me,” Jesus insisted. Jesus had all that he needed to begin his ministry, but he fulfilled the requirement anyway, demonstrating for us how necessary it is for us to be prepared for what God will do in our lives.
I wonder how many of us have been obedient to God’s call to preparation. We cannot imagine all that God will do in our lives, all of the lives we will reach, all the work He will do through us, all the changes He will orchestrate in our hearts. He’s telling us to get ready. Get that degree. Apply for that position. Start studying the Word. Apply for your passport. Start building that relationship.
I would hate to miss an opportunity to serve God because I wasn’t ready for it. So I’m getting prepared.
Lord, I want to be ready for what you’re calling me to, what you’re awakening in my heart. Show me how you want me to ready myself.