I was Baptized and received my first Holy Communion on this day, exactly 1 year ago.
Before I was baptized, I had to choose between following through The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) — a 10-month program that helps me get to know the faith better as well as to prepare myself for the Baptism, or another coaching program that I had signed up earlier with a non-religious organization — a 3-day program that promises to “give me access to creating a life that fulfils and honors myself, that helps me re-examine my life and uncover who I am as my full potential, in order to begin my process of becoming a more powerful and enriched individual.”
The choice did not seem difficult in the beginning, it looked to me that I could attend the 3-day coaching program first, then join the RCIA immediately after. Sounded like I could get the best of both world? Well no. Not till I found out later, that after the 3-day program, there would be weekly follow-up coaching sessions that would last another 6 months. And because the follow-up session fell on the same day as the RCIA sessions each week, it simply meant I would have to miss the entire RCIA program if I chose to attend the coaching program.
To make the choice even more obvious, I had earlier paid to the coaching organization a deposit of some 300 dollars which was not refundable.
Not that I minded the deposit, but I thought I could discuss the options with the person who was assigned as my coach, particularly on the possibility of joining the coaching program only after RCIA, which would be, 1 year later. Then the person threw me this question: “why can’t it be the other way round, join our program first then join the church later? The church will always be there.” Suddenly, I saw the answer through her question. No she did not managed to persuade me to join her, instead, she had completely thrown me off the idea of joining the coaching program at all.
So I let the deposit be forfeited and went ahead with the RCIA program, completed it, and got Baptized on Easter Vigil, last year (2009). Have I regretted the decision? Not at all! I am so glad, and so proud that I am a true Catholic now. I don’t know how my life would change if I had chosen the coaching program instead, but for sure I’m loving my life more than ever now.
In case you are curious to know what was the answer that came to me that has helped me with my decision, it was Matthew 6:33.