As followers of Christ, we know we are called to take up our cross daily and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). The problem is we’re already carrying so much stuff that carrying a cross becomes problematic. My question is, what is it you are carrying that is hindering you from carrying your cross? Whatever it is, you’ve got to let it go. The cross is not an add-on. It is not an accessory.
Nothing is more important than the cross of Jesus. When we come to understand this, we know we have no choice but to take up our own cross and follow Him. Sadly, many who come to this realization are already carrying so much and are not willing to let it all go.
Even those of us who have been following Jesus for quite some time can find ourselves continuing to pick up other things along the way. Carrying your cross is difficult enough. It’s heavy, awkward, and unwieldy. Simply balancing the thing across our backs takes a great deal of focus and concentration. It is hard work. Yet despite this, we punish ourselves by constantly reaching out for other things along our journey. Somehow, we allow ourselves to be convinced adding one more trinket or shiny object will make carrying our cross more bearable. It makes no logical sense, but apparently, we aren’t the most logical people!
Instead of adding more things to carry, we need to let go of everything except for our cross. It doesn’t matter how appealing something else may look. No matter how attached you are to whatever else is in your hands, you’ve got to let it go. Only Jesus will be able to satisfy the longing in your heart anyway. Nothing on earth can bring lasting happiness, comfort, or security. Those things are found only in Jesus. Picking other things up will only add to your own burden, not lessen it. Jesus is with you all along the way, and in Him, you already have all you seek. Let Him carry any burdens and longings for you. Let it go. Focus on the cross you’ve been given to bear.
Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re carrying something other than our cross. Relationships, bitterness, envy, and pride often hitch a ride on our shoulders without us recognizing they are there. Perhaps it’s a habit you’ve allowed to consume your time. Maybe it’s your smartphone, television, or other time-wasting habits that have begun weighing you down. Regardless of what it is, know you’ve got to let it go so you can be about the business of carrying your cross.
What is it you’re carrying you know you’ve got to let go? If you want to pick up your cross and follow Jesus, you’ve got to get rid of whatever else is in your hands. You’ve got to slough off the burdens draped across your shoulders. All that baggage from the past – or even the present – has got to go. We need to come before Jesus empty-handed and allow the cross to be placed on our backs. Everything else? We’ve got to let it go. Jesus is all we need. Anything else is just a distraction. Let it go. Take up your cross, and follow Him.