"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” - Luke 9:23

Growing up as the eldest in all of the children in our family (it includes my sister and cousins), I was tough as a rock. I discipline them. I tell them what to do. I practically manipulated every choices they make. I was always the supreme right one. I thought that’s what a big brother does. Being a child also myself then, I never really thought I was being mean to a point of cruelty with my sister and cousins for being the superior strict person I was. Even as a child up to a certain time in my adulthood, I thought I have to live by the standard expected of someone. I thought I would always be firm to follow the rules. I didn’t know that as we grow older it would come a time for when we choose shallow choices for they are fun and pleasurable. I thought I would never be on the other side of the good because I am that strict persona that always obey the standard. I was wrong.

You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.” - Matthew 7:13

I used to believe that people are being foolish for making choices that are not based on rules. It never occur to me that sometimes it is not easy for you are making choices between certain and uncertain, pleasure and pain, known and unknown. I always thought that doing the right thing is always an easy thing to do. But no more. I learned that in life, the hard thing and the right thing can sometimes be the same.

Perhaps, this is what is meant by the narrow gate and probably why many people choose the easy way. Perhaps, this is why Jesus needed to model the kind of person that God would be pleased to be with forever. Perhaps, this is the symbolism of the cross.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” - Matthew 11:29-30

It is most certainly is the hardest to follow Jesus whenever we desire to be in control; when we thought we know better; when we have that feeling of entitlement. Maybe this is the taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Today, I know from deep inside me that my rock has completely been crushed. Although, I couldn’t say I am no longer that difficult big brother that I am. But something inside me is whispering that just like me others also need help in carrying their daily cross, that it is not as easy as saying yes or no. It is not just a decision. It comes with great Passion! Just like how it was modelled by Christ on his way to calvary, the nails, betrayals, mockery, humiliation, lost, and to the grave passionately carrying the cross - all for you and me.

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