Today I read something from a book called This Day that made me stop and think a moment (that usually doesn't happen - stopping and thinking):
The cross is not some burden or challenge in life that we cannot escape and simply must endure. Rather the cross is something that we can evade, but we nevertheless take it up willingly, even amid misgivings."
I had never really thought about it in those terms before. It seems, I would rather the cross be something that I can't evade because then I couldn't shake it, I wouldn't have to be intentional, and I could complain about it! However, if its something I must willingly choose, that takes on a whole other level of commitment and trust. It means I have to be an intentional follower of Jesus. It means I give up my right to gripe and complain because I freely chose to take up my cross. It means that God is transforming us into the kind of people who can bear crosses, who can willingly pick them up in spite of our misgivings. That's pretty cool!