Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter Thoughts

I have been having trouble getting into Easter this year. I have been so preoccupied with other things that it's been hard to clear my mind.

Now lately it seems that, whenever I get into discussions about the bible, I end up arguing with someone about why it isn't inerrant. But the bible still speaks to me. There are times when it becomes the word of God.

For instance, I was reading the gospel of Matthew this afternoon and the tears pricked behind my eyes when I read these two verses:

Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.(Matt 10:38-39).

I never used to like that verse much. After all, who is really worthy, anyway? Also, it made me think of those sour-faced martyr-like women who go around complaining about how we all have a cross to bear, turning every little problem into a huge drama, and hinting heavily that their particular cross is us and our general thoughtless, selfishness and lack of appreciation.

But for some reason, I relate better to it now. I think it means that if we try to follow the right path, life inevitably presents us with things that are truly hard to endure - things that make us feel like we are dying inside and that make us think, "This is fucking killing me and I cannot do it".

If we try too hard to avoid those problems, if we keep chasing fantasies about all the other things we want instead, we will lose ourselves. We will lose touch with what is best about ourselves - our strength, our integrity and our compassion. We will fritter away our lives with petulant little complaints that life isn't the way it was portrayed in the brochure. We will never become what we could have been.

But if we take up that cross with a courage, carry it with a good will, even if we are complaining and cursing all the way, we will somehow find the life we were meant to have and become the person we were meant to be.

And we may find that the burden is not as heavy as we first thought:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.(Matt 11:28-30)


Blogger flutterby said...

"If we try too hard to avoid those problems, if we keep chasing fantasies about all the other things we want instead, we will lose ourselves."

This is just what I needed to hear right now, Emily. Very true and very timely.


9:33 PM  
Blogger Finished Last said...

Have had the same struggle. The problem wth crosses is that they tend to come with splinters

2:45 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Thanks for this post, Em. It really was inspiring.

One of my favorite non-biblical quotes is from Mother Theresa - "There is no spiritual growth without suffering." I hate that idea - the 'American' in me just thinks I ought to be able to go from glory to glory pretty much as I please, but the Universe just ain't put together that way, is it?

7:40 AM  

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