During Holy week I listened to a Latte & Laundry podcast with guest Laura Phelps and it was one of the most valuable tools for contemplating Week. There are a variety of wonderful wisdom nuggets in here, but one in particular that has stuck with me, especially for Good Friday: Picking up the exact cross you have been given is just as important as the concept of carrying your cross.
How often do we tell ourselves we were willing to suffer and struggle, but it was not with this particular scenario. In fact we believe we could be excellent at struggle or we know just how to rise to the challenges of life… but this specific challenge, well that is not what we signed up for. It doesn’t even seem like the type of thing God would want for my life. And the confusion of the situation will turn to the millions of “why”: “why this?” “Why me?” “Why now?” …. In fact there is so much happening in the lead up to accepting your specific cross, all the “suffering” or “struggle” isn’t limited to while carrying the actual cross: it also includes the understanding of your cross exactly as it is and accepting it.
Hearing Laura’s description of walking circles around a cross and refusing it…. Or trying so hard to carry another’s cross for them, instead of her own. I was struck by my own reality that so often it’s been about carrying the cross for another person or the suffering of learning what my cross is, just “doing the thing” and taking action was my focus…. Not examining the cross, understanding it and ultimately asking God how to carry it… then truly lifting it up. More often I have been struggling solely in the “why do I have to carry it?” Which begs questions; am I actually doing the lifting? The why has come with a lot of pain and thus trying to “carry it” has really been just a lot of dragging it down the road and then throwing it back down…. Which alone has been a lot of work …. I wondered if I had taken the time to actually understand and accept it, would asking how come more naturally? Would I have found God’s plan more easily?
So far I have only spent a little time in this new perspective and just starting to get my muscles trained to exchange why with how …. yet, it has already been eye opening. And not just the big things, but the little ones too. Am I mad at what this afternoon turned into because of an outlook that is “why me” or can I ask God for a how to accept the change of plans and maybe roll with everything a little better? How often is part of my cross lost in the frustration and assuming the pain of loss (big or small) is my cross?
As we all live joyfully in the Easter Season it seems strange to remain focused on Good Friday. However, there is no conquering of death, without the cross. And that is the same for us Christian’s: there is no healing, miracles, seeking to live freely in Christ…. If we were not troubled, tormented and rejected by this world. So understanding our cross is just as much a part of the journey. Easter season lives on through joining Jesus with our cross and hoping in all the resurrection promises for each of our futures.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!