The Cross…

OurFather

Just the other day I was thinking about the school year ending, summer beginning and how I look forward to the down time with my children, but I do not look forward to the increased bickering that is likely to accompany it. I guess that’s par for the course as a parent. Even more than that though, perhaps it is part of carrying one’s cross.

“Then Jesus said to all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.’” – Luke 9:23-24.

So often when I think of carrying a cross I think of the big trials and challenges. However, to take up one’s cross daily means the small things too. Each time I make a sacrifice, even if it is minute, I am in a sense carrying a cross. Often I think, “Can I just have one day without bickering!” However, the way I respond or react to my children bickering, can be part of taking up a parent’s cross. How different the experience can be when I catch myself and remember this, asking God to help me to find joy, or at least a sense of peace, in moments of bickering.

How improved each moment can be when I hand it over to God. Although it can be against the grain, especially in the times in which we live, surrender is sometimes the most powerful thing one can do. It often leads to victory; that is peace. It is in the “Letting go and letting God” that people most often get through both the big and the small crosses of life, and in doing so come to appreciate more deeply all that is theirs.

A year or two ago, someone asked me why I held my hands out and upward while saying the Lord’s Prayer. The person asked, “Is that something new?” I responded, “No. Not for me.” Then I went on to explain that this was the way I was taught to say the Lord’s Prayer as a child. I continued saying that I wasn’t sure why I was taught to do it that way, but that as an adult I had come to see this gesture as a symbolic kind of opening myself up to the Lord and the Lord’s will. A silent, “Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.” An acknowledgment that it’s not all about me. A surrendering to the idea that my life…what I say…what I do…has an impact far beyond me (and often in ways that I may never know). And, an invitation to the Lord to guide me and teach me, to lead me so that by the grace of God, I might do God’s will despite my imperfections.

Open My Eyes by Jesse Manibusan

Open my eyes, Lord
Help me to see your face
Open my eyes, Lord
Help me to see

Open my ears, Lord
Help me to hear your voice
Open my ears, Lord
Help me to hear

Open my heart, Lord
Help me to love like you
Open my heart, Lord
Help me to love

And the last shall be first
And our eyes are opened
And we’ll hear like never before
And we’ll speak in new ways
And we’ll see God’s face in places we’ve never known

I live within you
Deep in your heart, O Love
I live within you
Rest now in me

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