When God asked me four years ago to become Catholic I surrendered a lot of things.
I surrendered the Christian community in which I had taken my baby steps.
I surrendered strong friendships.
I surrendered family peace.
I surrendered my doubts and my fears.
I surrendered myself.
In the moment it took a lot of courage and blind, feet-first faith to become Catholic, but I did it because it was God asked me to do, much the way that Abraham courageously brought Isaac to Mount Moriah. And just as Abraham came down from the sacrifice with his son alive, I have eventually come down to where peace in my family is perhaps stronger than it has ever been, where many of my friendships have been restored and bygones forgiven, and new friendships have grown that would never have been. The sacrifices I made have been far outweighed by blessings without number and mercy without end.
Yet, in my heart I keep scolding Christ: haven’t I sacrificed enough for you? Can’t you just let me be? Can’t you be happy with my going to Mass every Sunday? Why would you ask me to sacrifice again? It hurt so much the first time.
I fear, again, what God may be asking me to do. I fear that he may ask me to go deeper than I’ve already gone. Four years ago I wouldn’t have thought that that was possible. But I know that I’ve only scratched the surface of what it means to truly belong to Christ and I’ve barely tasted what heavenly communion will be like. I know that only one thing in this life transcends to the next and that is my relationship with Christ, my intimate communion with him. I know that all of the dreams and hopes that I may have of travelling the world, saving the alligators, finding a wife will not matter. Seeing the sunset over a mountain in Spain pales in comparison of one nanosecond with the Lord. The gentle touch of the alligator is nothing to the gentle love of Christ. And the marital union will be dissolved at eternity’s door as it prepares me for the true union with God.
And so I know that if God were to be asking me to give up all of these things that it wouldn’t be a terrible thing, but an act to further prepare myself for total union with him. Still, the thought of it makes my stomach turn, thinking of the things of this world that I would never experience.