If we do not bear the cross of the Master, we will have to bear the cross of the world, with all its earthly goods. Which cross have you taken up? Pause and consider. Sadhu Sundar Singh.
Sadhu Singh was an Indian Christian missionary. Sadhu was reared in a traditional Sikh family and decided to become a Christian when a boy, incurring rejection by his father. He, as much as or more than anyone, understood the idea that all of us bear some sort of cross, and it is up to us to choose which one it will be.
Jesus said a similar thing in Matthew 11:28-30.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Lent, well considered, takes from us everything that drags us down. It is traveling light as one would in the company of Jesus. The Hebrews writer said this.
…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2.
Thomas á Kempis once said, “Many love Christ as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless him as long as they receive some comfort from him…..Those who love Jesus for his own sake and not for any comfort of their own, praise him both in trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation.”’
Proving the truth of what á Kempis said, the leaders in a megachurch in Phoenix made the decision to quit offering the frivolous benefits of attending that church: coffee shop, fitness classes, etc. The decision was announced on a Sunday morning, and the church began to see a loss in numbers, approximately one third of their members.
Many of the church members had lost sight of Jesus in the Walmart experience of going to church, and they left when they believed that the attractions that brought them to that church were no longer available.
O God, help us to follow you alone. May we travel light into the wilderness of life and seek only you. Give us sight to see what is real and what is fake. Do not let us become fair weather disciples, only loving you when we get what we want. In Jesus name I pray this. Amen.