Today, we are told, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” What does that mean for you and me in our lives here and now….to take up one’s cross? The cross is a symbol of suffering, death and resurrection. Who would choose for that??????!!!!!!
I do. Because what I have learned about the cross is that it does ultimately lead to new life! A life that I am in need of, a life that takes me beyond who I am right now. The cross is the experience that can take you and me beyond our limitations – those that are imposed upon us by society, culture, religion AND those that we impose upon ourselves. Even though the cross involves pain and suffering, it also includes joy and new life! We must suffer and let go in order to receive and become more!
I would imagine that most, if not all of us look in a mirror at least once a day. And what do we see? A reflection of ourselves. I wonder how often other things and other people become the mirror to us? We can identify ourselves with other things, roles and people. We are people defined by jobs, physical health, beauty, status, relationships, and marriages. I am a father, a daughter, a teacher, a friend, a therapist, a person who must look clean and polished, a spouse/partner, an athlete, a loser. We can get defined and mirrored by so many other things and people.
Might Lent and this Spring be a time to renew a sense of who I am? To get rooted in the integrity and authenticity of myself! Who am I? Who are you? In my inner most core, I am a child of God. I am Christ. I am me. I am becoming who my creator calls me to be! I am the one who offers all of my gifts and talents to others so that they too may live and have life! In our inner most being is beauty, truth, creation, life, love, peace, goodness, integrity.
Maybe the cross this Lent can be an experience of re-introduction to the essence of who you are. Let the cross be your mirror…of suffering/letting go, death/dying to the parts that are not you, and resurrection/rising to new and deeper life!
Go take a look in that mirror. What do you see? What does God see??