You are probably wondering why I have titled this passage “Pick up your cross and follow me”. You might even be asking yourself, “who am I following and why should I”. Well I am so delighted that you asked.
In 1999, that same thought was introduced into my mind. However, it was not as we would suppose an idea enters ones thinking. By this, I mean that it was not from a tangible source as we would consider tangible.
I was walking alone, No one was following me. I saw no one in my immediate surroundings. I was not asleep or dreaming and I certainly wasn’t hallucinating. No it was none of the above. I was simply taking my customary morning walk trying to fit in a few minutes of exercise into my schedule before going off to work. When I used to walk that is.
It was early in the morning, I was having my coffee and looking out of my kitchen window. I recall looking up to the sky checking for possible rain but I could see the sun making it’s way through the clouds. It looked beautiful and full. I found myself staring at the sun. However, the glare was so strong that I started to look away but not before seeing what appeared to be a cross protruding from within the sun. It appeared almost three dimensional and seemed like a branding iron with the insignia in the middle used to brand cattle thus depicting ownership as in old cowboy movies. Suddenly, I realized that it was a cross. I remember blinking from the strong glares coming from the sun. I closed my eyes and looked again sure that it was all in my mind. But again I saw the cross come forth from within the circle of the sun. I blinked a few times hoping to see it a third time but it had disappeared. I stood at my window wondering “did you just see a cross inside the sun or are your eyes playing tricks on you”. I was completely amazed but doubtful at what I had seen. Although I didn’t dwell on what I saw, I felt impressed by what I had seen. A cross from inside the sun, what are the chances? I finished my coffee and without a second thought opened the back door and went for my daily walk.
I had to go through my back yard which faced a large parking area for the neighboring businesses. I walked approximately two streets past the parking lot and was standing near a barber shop ready to cross the street when it happened. All of a sudden, I heard this soft, silky almost metallic, voice speak into my left ear. “Pick up your cross and follow me”, It was as if I had heard a pin drop in the midst of an empty Mall upon a glass, crystal like surface. Without taking another step, I immediately made the connection between the image I had seen a few minutes earlier and the voice I had just heard. I looked to the sky thinking I would see the cross again. Not a chance. I did not see it then and I have never seen the image of the cross in the sun again. It has been fifteen years since that experience and although I have never heard the voice in my ear, I can still hear the resounding voice occasionally reminding me to “Pick up my cross and follow Him”
In the KJV book of Mark 8:34 we read a passage where the Lord says, “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”. At the time, I was not familiar with this scripture and it would be a few years before I would come across it in the Bible. However, I have come to understand some things about the Lord. While I do not think of myself special in anyway, I must say that I do consider it a privilege that God would take time out to his Holy Element to cast His eyes upon me and speak in my ear. For even though I was just starting my walk with God, He knew me. The song “His eye is on the sparrow”, gives us a birds eye view of how great God is. In His omniscience-all knowing ways, God knows all about us and I am so in awe that he was thinking of me when he wrote in His word, “he who has ears, let him hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying” To say that I was immediately obedient in picking up my cross would be a lie. However, I am still walking, still seeking, still searching and yes still asking for revelation on that cross that I have chosen to pick up, carry and follow.
God is amazing, loving, patient and slow to anger. He hasn’t given up on me yet and I am certain he never will. I keep “pressing towards that mark of the high calling” spoken of in the bible by the apostle Paul and pray that through my consistent walk He will continue to reveal his master plan to me for the remainder of my life here on earth.