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July 29, 2010 / joelmalm

Who’s the Weirdo With the Cross?

I got a letter from my friend Keller today.  He’s doing an internship at a church and in a few days they are dropping him in the middle of nowhere to find his way home, here’s the catch:

“We have to carry a big cross, we cant ask for directions and we cant hitch a ride farther than 5 miles at a time…”

My first response – that’s goofy kids stuff.

Upon further consideration I realized something.  Wandering through the wilderness is one thing.  Doing it with a cross on your back is another.  Sounds like some great spiritual lessons are ahead for my friend.  Think about it:

That cross makes everything more complicated.  You can’t just jump into any Toyota Prius that comes along and hitch a ride – unless you leave the cross.

Having a cross on your shoulder undoubtedly limits who will be willing to give you a ride.  Normal people don’t carry crosses around.  There must be something wrong with that weirdo out in the middle of nowhere thumbing a ride on the side of the highway.

I think you get my point.  The cross makes everything more challenging.  But, if we are sure God’s word is true, carrying a cross also brings something great:

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me…

…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…

Matthew 10:38, Romans 5:2-4, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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