I honestly don’t know where the idea of Lent came from, but here we are. I’ve decided to do few things to celebrate this period on the Christian calendar. I have “given up” some of my mental and spiritual weaknesses during this period. For the next 44 days (damn I thought it was only 40 days, but check the calendar), I’ve resolved to wake up earlier, workout 7 days a week, and practice various other forms of circumspect mindfulness.
Why am I doing this? I see it as me “bearing my cross.” Jesus bore a literal cross. The only way he could show that all power was in his hands was to let others try to take it away. If you’re going to tell people that you are one with a God who has power over death, then at some point, you have to let them try to kill you. Yes, that will hurt while they’re doing it. But the temporary pain is nothing compared to the glory once you get over. If Jesus hadn’t gone through the crucifixion, he never would have experienced the resurrection.
It’s the same in life. Nothing comes to us without first making an appropriate sacrifice; no cross, no crown.
I happen to want communion with God, enlightenment, happiness, and wealth. Is that too much to ask? No, but a better question is, am I willing to do what is necessary to get them? Will I take up my cross?
A cross is a temporary form of suffering that you choose to endure in order to reap a greater reward later. Saying “sorry” when you’d rather not admit you were wrong is a cross. Not giving up on a worthwhile cause is a cross. Sticking to a diet is a cross. Setting a goal and not letting up until you reach it, that’s a cross. Whatever the cross, we are free to pick it up and put it down when we get ready. But only by enduring till the end can we reap the rewards. In fact, when we persevere, we HAVE to get all we deserve.
My cross might not look like your cross. What is a challenge for me may not be a challenge for you. Deep down, you know exactly what you need to start (or stop) doing so that your life can move forward. Lent is a good time to give it a shot, like New Year’s. Pick up that cross. If it proves too heavy and you drop the ball, just pick it up again. Don’t beat yourself up about failing–the cross is heavy enough to whip you in to shape.