“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’” (Mt 16: 24-25)
Autumn reminds me of what it means to take up one’s cross and follow Christ. It means to be like a tree, which surrenders to the kind of vulnerability that comes with shedding the old leaves, and standing bare for a while, in preparation for new life. We become witnesses to the Cross, we manifest the Cross, as do the bare trees throughout the winter, when we remain standing, in faith, throughout our losses and rejections.
But sometimes we miss this opportunity, to bear witness to the life-bringing Cross. We “miss the point” of our losses or rejections, when we respond to them not with faith in God’s growing-process for us, but by falling into resentment, self-centered fear, despondency or indifference to our vocation, etc. Today let’s be reminded that sometimes we need to stand bare for a while, to be left behind for a while, in patience and in faith, in our death-trampling Lord. He indeed “saves” our life and helps us “find” it, to find who we truly are, via the cross-carrying way. Let me embrace Your way this morning, Lord, choosing faith over fear. And let me do the next right thing as I remain standing, looking forward to the new life coming in the spring, rather than looking back at the losses or rejections that I cannot change.