Something very profound was said by my Priest at church yesterday. Although he’s said it before it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m going to paraphrase. . . a sickness, loss of a loved one, or getting fired from a job is not a cross you bear. The cross you bear are things in your life you voluntarily choose to pick up.
In other words, just like Christ chose to give his life up and die on the cross, we must choose our crosses and bear them with grace and perseverance. That cross then becomes sanctified. That cross becomes our way to salvation.
I have often found myself leaving crosses sitting in the corner tucked away because I wasn’t ready to truly bear them. We are afraid of the pain the cross will cause. The discomfort, the altering of the way we do things, the vulnerability, because of pride, or the stretching it will cause, this keeps us from caring the needs of a friend, family member, or stranger.
I want to bear my crosses differently. I want to choose to pick them up and know that I do not carry it alone. I’m left with many thoughts of what crosses I’ve avoided recently.
The other thing Father said yesterday that gave me hope was this. . .(paraphrased) although there is so much evil in the world around us, although there are things or people in our lives that seem to beat us up or try to tear us down, there is something so great in knowing that the devil may win these little battle here on earth but we already know the outcome of the war. The war has already been won.
Why so much talk of crosses? Today we commemorate the Elevation of the Cross. Today we remember the power of this life giving object.
Lord, help us to bear the cross of your son daily as we remember it’s power and it’s help to us in our time of need.