“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8:34-35
Have you ever experienced a moment that wasn’t utterly dramatic, and yet, after it had passed, you found yourself shellshocked, tripping over your own thoughts and desperate to unravel the meaning of it?
I have encountered these two verses so many times during the past twenty-six years. And yet today, possibly for the first time, they went soul deep. And the reality is that if I’m to embrace them as true, they have some pretty radical implications in regards to the way I live my life.
To be honest, I can’t even verbalize everything that’s in my head right now. I’ve been typing and deleting for quite some time now, which usually tells me I’ve said all I need to say for the moment. It usually means that I need to stop talking and start listening.
What does that mean? What does denying myself look like? When You said that, how did You mean it? What was Your heart in that statement? And how exactly does one prepare to die a death that’s sure to not be pleasant? And do I really, deep down, trust You to raise the dead in me? Do I trust You enough to take the fall and let You make me the second man?