Bear Your Own Cross
October 18, 2020
There was once a man walking along on a long stretch of a road carrying a heavy wooden cross on his back. It appeared like he was walking along the road for some time. It was clear that he was tired from the effort of walking with the big wooden Cross on his back.
He silently prayed to his God, saying, ” oh God, please take this burden off my back and make it easy for me. I am exhausted and tired, and I have a long way to go. “
As he said this, God appeared in a flash in front of him.
” Hi, my friend. Were you looking for me? I am afraid I cannot take the Cross of your back. As you know, every person has to bear his own Cross. It is the natural law of life,” God said.
The man could not believe his eyes. God himself was in front of him. ” Oh God, thank you for showing up. Is there anything you can do? This burden is heavy and painful,” he pleaded, hoping for some leniency from God.
God decided to help the man.
“As I said. I cannot let you take the Cross out. But here is what I can do to help you. Can you see that big warehouse a few hundred meters down the road? That’s a place where wooden Crosses meant for others are stored. You can go in there and select any other wooden cross that may be lighter than the one you are carrying. That way, at least your back will feel lighter” Saying this, God vanished.
The man felt hope. He went into the warehouse and saw it filled with hundreds of Wooden Crosses almost identical to his. He put his Cross down and started checking different Crosses, looking for the one that felt the lightest.
“This one feels heavier. Hmm, the next one too. This one feels a wee bit little lighter, but the edges are very sharp and will cut my skin” After testing many Crosses, the man came across one right near the door that felt light and comfortable on his back.”
He quickly picked up the “lighter” Cross and walked over to the check out counter at the warehouse, feeling happy. “At least I have a lighter Cross to bear.“
“But Sir, this Cross you have picked up is your own that you came in with. There is nothing to exchange this for,” the executive at the check out counter said.
This story is a metaphor for the life we all lead. Every one of us has to deal with challenges that are unique for our individual lives. The challenges are like a unique Cross for us to Bear.
As in the story, for as long as the man did not experience other Crosses’ weight, he thought his Cross was heavy and difficult. But once he tested the other Crosses, he realized the one he was carrying was the right one for him.
It’s similar to our lives too. You think your problems are bigger than everyone else’s. Your problems always appear magnified in your perception. However, when you experience someone else’s problems or issues from their perspective, you will realize that your issues are not so bad after all.
An example that comes to mind to illustrate this point- Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. You might see a very successful and accomplished professional on the outside. But his elder son has quadriplegia, and another child has learning disabilities. The challenges in his life are unique to Satya Nadella, and the fact that he has accomplished what he has, bringing his children up in the best possible way, makes for an inspiring story.
But, would any parent with kids want to trade his life with Satya Nadella’s?
Taking another metaphor, we all have our own Marathon’s to run. People who enroll to run a marathon don’t crib, saying my pain is more than the other runner’s pain. In a marathon, no one can outsource their pain and agony to someone else. The battle of overcoming pain is unique to every individual. The ones who accept this and become comfortable with the pain get to complete the Marathon successfully.
The bottom line is this. The more we focus on the weight of the Cross and less on the destination we have to reach, the heavier and burdensome the Cross will be.
We all have a Cross to Bear. That is inescapable. When we accept and acknowledge this simple truth, we start focusing on the best way to complete the journey. In the process, our journey through life becomes pleasant.
Accept the challenges and curveballs that life throws at you with Grace and Ease. They are your Cross To Bear.