What must Abram do? He must face the fear of change the fear that comes with any momentous event that changes our life, in this case the change of a name. Christ challenges us each day with the same challenge to draw closer to God by taking up the cross (Mk 8.34). The cross is as much a challenge to us as a change in our name that changes our purpose in life. If we are serious in our commitment to God and our commitment to the cross that Christ invites us to bear then we must expect our life purpose to change. Just as Abram changed so we to change as we accept the call of Christ on our lives. Yet, this is the greatest of our crosses and the one that we shoulder with little if any enthusiasm. Perhaps if anything this is the cross that is most neglected and yet is the one that gives us the most hope and comfort in our lives.
Who do we see in the mirror? The one that God calls or....
The paradox of change is once again confronted in this moment. We do not want to take up the cross because of the weight and the challenge that is set before us. Yet it is the one thing that we are asked to do as it leads us into love of God and neighbour. We are only truly concerned with ourselves and not with the call of God. We often believe that it is just a simple habitus that we have entered into that controls our faith journey. Come to worship, do what the priest asks, succour others and encourage the youth. This is not so, if we allow God into our lives they are permanently changed just like Abram and this is something that we ourselves do not want. Change on this level is so damaging for us that we allow only the habit to remain. Abram stepped forward not knowing what or where he was going. He had no idea as to what the future held. He took an enormous step of faith into the unknown only knowing God. We are called into that same space when we are confronted by the cross that is laid before us. We often over think what is before us and thereby increase the size of the cross that we think God is asking us to pick up and bear.
Our faith only grows when we answer the call that God has placed upon ourselves. Sometimes it is as if everything is collapsing around us whilst at other times it is as if the world is against us. Yet is ourselves that create the weight of the cross that God asks us to pick up. It is our faith that allows us to feel the easy burden that God has given to us. We lose everything when we place the world before us but gain everything when we place God before us. God grants us life despite the weight that we place upon our own shoulders. Only when we accept in truth and love that God will only give us the lightest of burdens to carry. We have his love and faith in our own worth to sustain us into the future.