This week, already, has been a little emotional. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but it’s over an inanimate object that has 4 wheels. On Sunday I welcomed my new-to-me car into my life. It’s the same one that I blogged about earlier this month (see the two posts below this one. Start with the bottom, then move up if you need to catch up). I am excited, but not as excited as I feel like I maybe should be. I mean, holy cow, I have an awesome car! I’ll admit, it feels a bit “more mature” than I am, kinda like I should be driving around with a hand over my mouth to hide my giggle. That’s good emotion, right? Well, there’s a dark side – you see, yesterday I said goodbye to the Protege. An eleven and a half year relationship – over.
Silly, right? Yes, I cried as I drove it the final time to it’s new home. Yes, there are some things I miss.
I was overcome with these emotions last night when I sat down to finish my study from Discipleship Essentials for our life group tonight. The focal passage is Luke 9:23-24 and included a reading passage, really an expository, on the passage. In the reading, Johnson focused on dissecting the phrases ‘deny yourself,’ ‘take up your cross,’ and ‘lose your life for my sake.’
I am always so scared of those exact phrases in that passage. Deny myself? Does that mean of everything I enjoy, everything I love, deny myself happiness? Johnson does a great job of explaining that it’s not giving up happiness; it’s giving up “self-lordship.” He goes on to explain ‘take up your cross’ as a process of giving all of our hopes and dreams for His.
As I finished reading, it hit me how parallel the situation really was. I’m crying over a car – one that’s comfortable, I know inside and out, and is mine when the one I’m getting is SO MUCH BETTER. I mean, I’m moving into a sunroof, dual DVD players with headphones in the back for the kids, heated leather seats, smooth driving machine! That’s my life in Christ – I’m so happy to continue to spend my time the way I want because it’s what I’ve always done. This amount of time for email, laundry, dishes, cleaning, grade papers… What if I don’t get something done because I stop to do my Bible study?! Gasp! Seriously, when I ‘deny myself’ and ‘take up my cross,’ what I’m going to have is SO MUCH BETTER!
So, why can’t I remember that?