Today I was thinking of slogans and life. At various times, we try to reduce the complex multiplicity of our lives into short sayings. For example, we will hear or read expressions like these —
- You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.
- Our lives are like a candle in the wind.
- Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.
- Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth.
- At one point everything you did in life was exactly what you wanted. Sad, isn’t it?
- Love never ends but life does.
- Enjoy what you can, endure what you must.
- People change, things go wrong. Just remember, life goes on.
- Those who dance are thought to be crazy by those who don’t hear the music.
- If you can solve your problem, why worry? If you can’t solve your problem, why worry?
- Simply living is too easy; but living simply is not.
Some of the just mentioned are quite provocative and insightful. They capture in few words some big thoughts. But, this afternoon I was going another direction. I thought of this expression, “There is no cross that love won’t bear.”
When checking online, I found that John Wesley, back in the 1800’s used “No cross is too heavy for him to bear” in one of his sermons. Of course, Wesley was referring to Jesus.
In any case, as I pondered the nine words “There is no cross that love won’t bear”, I found myself trying, to the degree possible, to imagine Jesus on the cross, surrounded by some people who loved Him, but many who hated Him. Even when on the cross, He loved His enemies. That cross, which spiritually and psychologically was the heaviest cross that was ever borne, was still inferior to Jesus’ love.
Jesus didn’t bear that cross with a begrudging attitude, or with stoic cockiness or a sense of condescension toward the uninitiated into a mystery religion. He bore the cross, that state approved instrument for keeping the masses in line, to bring reconciliation between God and humanity. He loved humanity too much to not pay the supreme sacrifice and absorb the human evil that separates us from the Father.
I know I will never love as Jesus did. And, I know I will never be expected to do what Jesus has already done. But, what do I lose by wanting to love as He did and does? Nothing that’s worth keeping!! Doling out my love as if it were a limited amount of medicine in a no-refill bottle is an insult to God’s provisions. I live by giving, not by holding onto, what I possess.
If you have comments, I will be pleased to see them. Thanks.