Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Taking up one’s cross means simply that you are to go to the road which you see to be the straight one; carrying whatever you find is given you to carry, as well and stoutly as you can; without making faces, or calling people to come and look at you.
Above all, you are neither to load or unload yourself, nor cut your cross to your own liking. Some people think it would be better for them to have it large; and many, that they could carry it much faster if it were small; and even those who like it largest are usually very particular about its being ornamental, and made of the best ebony.
But all you have really to do is to keep your back straight as you can, and not think about what is upon it—above all, not to boast of what is upon it.
– John Ruskin, from Thoughts for the Thoughtful
It is not His cross that is heavy;
It is those that our hands have made
That hinder us on our journey.
On our aching shoulders laid;
There is strength for the load He gives us
And balm for the thorn He sends,
But none for the needless burdens,
And none for our selfish ends.
For His yoke is easy to carry
And His burden is light in weight;
He will do His share of the labor,
For He is a true yoke-mate.
Are we weary and heavy-laden?
Are we anxious and full of care?
That is not the cross of His giving
But the one we make and bear.
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Trust God for your day, ….Today