Peterson on Taking up the Cross
Eugene Peterson, in his book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, speaking of Christ's call to his disciples to "pick up your cross and follow," says this:
I don't know of any part of the Christian Gospel that is more difficult to move from the pages of sacred Scripture and the honored volumes of theology into the assumptions and practices of our everyday Christian lives.Boy, I like that. And I don't believe it is a truth that is often faced, or that we often allow to challenge us. This is a place, a verse, that can speak a "who goes there" into the life of a disciple. Unless you are willing to take up your cross, you shall not pass.
Me, I don't know exactly what that might look like in my own life. Peterson says that, generally speaking, it looks like self-sacrifice. Putting aside personal interest and comfort in favor of the interests and comfort of others. He writes:
We begin our morning prayers with Jesus, "Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet . . ." (Mark 14:36) And our "yet . . ." trails off: instead of completing Jesus' prayer ("not what I want but what you want") we begin entertaining other possibilities. If all things are possible for the Father, perhaps there is another way to do something about what is wrong with the world, a way by which I can help out and make things better other than through a sacrificial life. In the jargon of the day, we pray: "sacrifice is not one of my gifts--I want to serve God with my strength, with my giftedness." It's a strange thing, but sacrifice never seems to show up on anyone's Myers-Briggs profile.