(Learning to embrace change)
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)
By Fr. Chris Lee OFR
I saw a comic strip one day that really made me laugh. A manager asked an employee if he had made the changes he was asked to make? The employee asked the manager if he remembered what those changes were? The manager replied, no. The employee responded by saying, “yes” I made those changes lol. Let’s be honest, change can be good, bad, or just scary. But one thing is certain, change is inevitable. How are we as Christians supposed to view and embrace change? Perhaps one of the best examples is the life of Abram who became Abraham.
Abram seemed to have a good life in Haran. He had a wife, an extended family, wealth, and notoriety. In fact, we could compare Abram’s life to that of a Sheik. However, this all changed in Genesis 12 when Abram heard the voice of God for the first time. This encounter with God was calling for change. God asked Abram to leave behind everything he knew there in Haran and walk with Him to an unknown destination by faith. Abram responded to God’s call for change with obedience. Abram quickly learned in Genesis 13-14 that change was difficult, and sometimes very scary.
In Genesis 15 God finally reveals the purpose of this change to Abram. God needed Abram to change, so that God could change the world through him and his decedents. The fatherless would become the father of many generations of God’s people. To permanently mark this change, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham in Genesis 17. During his lifelong journey of faith, Abraham would confront change on a constant basis. Always with obedience, and always with trust in God’s greater good.
Our lives are not so different from that of Abraham. To know Jesus, is to have heard His call to leave the old things behind and begin a life long journey of faith. Our response requires change. Our obedience to continue to follow Him requires change. In short, God requires change. In the words of the great Bishop John Henry Newman, “To live is to change, and to be perfected is to have changed often.” While change can be scary, we must like Abraham, always trust in God’s greater good.