James 2: 14-24, 26
Mark 8: 34-9:1
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny their very selves, take up their cross and follow in my steps. Whoever would save their life will loose it, but whoever looses their life for my sake will find it.”
In his very popular book A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle, I believe, gets to the essence of what Jesus meant when he said that we are to “deny ourselves” and “loose” our lives. In a fresh way, Tolle speaks of how most of us identify who we are by the “voice in the head.” This he explains is not the essence of who we are, but rather is the ego, which is never satisfied, always looking for more and only looking to its own needs. The ego is reactive and the source of much violence in our lives and in our world. He goes on to say that we can experience the “Kingdom” now by getting behind the voice of the ego and going to that silent place where we discover our essence in the Eternal Now.
Dr. Wayne Dyer, in his books and talks speaks of the same reality. We all ultimately have an appointment with Infinity, he says. And most of us dread it. But we can begin to keep that appointment right now on “this side of infinity.” We can enter the space of the Eternal Now right here, right now. By meditating and getting behind the incessant chatter of the wants, desires and reactions of the ego, we loose ourselves in a way; but in the process we discover in the silence the essence of who we truly are. And when we surrender to this Essence, we tap an Energy that is endless and eternally giving. Our faith will then, naturally burst forth into good works and creativity.
And not only that – there’s more! (Gosh, I sound like one of those “new invention” commercials now!) The “cross” then becomes the very opportunity for life. The crosses, in this consciousness (i.e. faith) become opportunities, instead of obstacles. Many people, however, listening to and identifying themselves with the chatter of the ego avoid their crosses, react to them, or look at them as merely loss. Jesus encourages us – if we want to live, really live, pick up the cross, look at it as an opportunity that opens new doors. That’s pretty good news!
Perhaps today we can go to the silence behind our reactive egos and see today’s cross in the light of eternity where it doesn’t weigh as much and begins to open doors to new life and creative energy NOW!