Take Up Your Cross
The phrase “take up your cross” has not fared well through the generations. Ask for a definition, and you’ll hear answers like, “My cross is my mother-in-law, my job, my bad marriage, my cranky boss, or the dull preacher.” The cross, we assume, is any besetting affliction or personal hassle. My thesaurus agrees. It lists the following synonyms for cross: frustration, trying situation, snag, hitch, and drawback.
The cross means so much more. It is God’s tool of redemption, instrument of salvation—proof of his love for people. To take up the cross, then, is to take up Christ’s burden for the people of the world.
Though our crosses are similar, none are identical. “If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me” (Luke 9:23 CEV, emphasis mine).
We each have our own cross to carry—our individual calling. Discover your God-designed task. It fits. It matches your passions and enlists your gifts and talents. Want to blow the cloud cover off your gray day? Accept God’s direction.
“The Lord has assigned to each his task” (1 Corinthians3:5 NIV). What is yours? What is your unique call, assignment, mission? A trio of questions might help.
In what directions has God taken you?
What needs has God revealed to you?
What abilities has God given to you?
Direction. Need. Ability. Your spiritual DNA. You at your best. You and your cross.
While none of us is called to carry the sin of the world (Jesus did that), all of us can carry a burden for the world.
Check your vital signs. Something stirs you. Some call brings energy to your voice, conviction to your face, and direction to your step. Isolate and embrace it. Nothing gives a day a greater chance than a good wallop of passion.