If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23.
I recognize that not all my readers can go all the way in believing Christ died on the Cross to sacrifice for our sins. Some don’t follow him at all, and many Christians find talk about the crucifixion way too uncomfortable. Whatever your individual belief, which are as individual and numerous as snowflakes, I repeat Luis’s words — believe as much as you can, when you can, and that’s sufficient for God. However, I suggest don’t turn off talk of” taking up your cross” regardless of your belief for the phrase has meaning for us all.
To “take up one’s cross” has as many meanings as stars in the sky, and is as individual as one’s taste for food. For J. Keble it “consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.” For some it means giving up having one’s way in an argument with family or friend. For others it might mean sacrificing a promotion for one’s family’s well-being. Each action, where we follow the words and deeds of Christ is in a way the taking up of a spiritual cross. Ask yourself, one-by-one, where do I take up a cross in my daily life and just as importantly ask what is my motive behind carrying that burden. If it is not to honor God and your neighbor, perhaps you’re doing it for the wrong reason.
Finally, I suggest that every morning, take a moment to receive your own special cross from God. It will prove not to be much of a burden, but instead a gift and delight.