Take up your cross and follow me (Matthew 10:38)
My pastor, Jim Cantrell said last Sunday morning that he would be preaching on this topic this coming Sunday. So I’ve been thinking about it and what it means to me.
In the past when I’ve thought about someone “taking up their cross” for some reason it has always seemed like a voluntary thing. Like someone went over to a table of “possible burdens in your life” and chose which one to carry. Personal elective martyrdom. Something performed by saints and people who are way more spiritual than I am.
Now I see it differently.
I am starting to think that the crosses in my life are the things that knock me down. Job loss, knee injury, infertility, illnesses, death, various surgeries. And when something knocks me down I have a choice. It is a very simple choice really.
Stay down, or get up.
Once I’m up, I also have a choice.
Move forward in life, or stand still.
And as long as I’m moving forward, I have a choice between depression and joy.
So, I cry, I pray, and then I choose to get back up and smile. I choose to show that Christ and my Salvation is my source of joy. Not my job. Not my family. Not financial success. Not physical health.
The end result is a person who has picked up her cross and follows Christ. That sentence surprises me even as I write it, because I am NOT a saint. I have made some really bad decisions in my life. Sometimes I fall down. But the crux of the matter is this – will I get back up?
The answer, for me, will always be
Why? It is because I’m strong or brave ?
No. It is because I know there is a God up in the heavens who breathes life into me every single day. And He wants me to just keep walking. One foot, one step, one mile at a time. After all He has done for me, how could I possibly say no?