(Revised, author unknown)
Well, here I am, Lord! You said, "Take up your cross", and I'm here to do so. To be honest, self-denial is not something I'm excited about, but since You said to do it, I’m here to obey. I'm ready to surrender my life, come what may! You probably wish that more people were willing to take up their crosses.
Mind if I look over these crosses? I hate to be picky, but if it's all the same with you, I'd like a shiny, new one. Hmmm – nothing like that around here; guess I'll have to keep looking. By the way, do You offer a padded version? After all, I want to attract others to You, and a comfortable cross is more appealing. And if it's not asking too much, do You have a portable cross that easily folds up? After all, crosses aren't very popular in some places. I may need to occasionally hide it under my coat to avoid offending others.
Well, there's not much choice here. The only crosses I see are heavy, ugly and made of coarse wood. Wow, that might hurt, not to mention the splinters! Don't You have something more distinctive, Lord? I'll tell you right now that none of my friends will be impressed by any of these. If I’m seen lugging around a huge, heavy cross, people might think that I'm a fanatic. Even my family might be embarrassed.
What's that you say? It's either the old rugged cross…or nothing? How fair is that? I want to be Your disciple, but let’s not get carried away! It's a different world today than when You were crucified. No one carries a cross like that anymore. Don't misunderstand, I really want to follow You, but can't I have a few things my way? I do have certain rights, you know.
Now, let's see. No blood, okay? I just can't stand the sight of blood. Lord? Lord? LORD? Now where do you suppose He went?
It’s never been easy to live one's life exclusively based on pleasing Christ. Yet no one can carry a cross AND the things of the world for long. Sooner or later, something will have to give...or drop. Don’t let it be the cross. "…whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (LK 14:27)
Jesus, always Jesus!