How’s Your Cross This Year? Otherwise Known as Your Annual Spiritual Check-Up

How’s Your Cross This Year? Otherwise Known as Your Annual Spiritual Check-Up

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I “enjoyed” my annual physical check-up this week. My doctor is one of the sweetest personalities I’ve ever met, close in age to my sons. She’s like the daughter I never had, so I’ll admit it: I love going to the doctor. With a gentle smile, she asks her professional questions (FYI : I made up the questions since I refuse to publicize anything of my personal health on the internet!).

“Anything new going on with you?”

“Have you been maintaining good sugar levels?”

“Is the blood pressure medication doing its job?”

lady doctor

I’m delighted to answer every question because SHE CARES.

Which got me to thinking about an annual spiritual check-up. What if Jesus hunkered Himself down next to my Prayer Chair, and asked similar questions? I know HE cares.

“Anything new going on with you?”

“I see you’re staying in the Word, relying on your sisters in Christ…How about relying on Me a little more?”

“Are you still carrying your cross?”

Oh, boy. That last one hurts more than the question preceding it.

Luke 9:23. If any man come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me.

carrying the cross

I don’t know how to answer His question. I end up with more questions of my own.

Have I denied myself? There’s a lot of self indulgence in my life. Sugar comes to mind. I may use self control by refraining from eating a dozen cookies at one time, but I never deny myself one or two. Since I make sure to spend time with Jesus every day, does sugar indulgence matter? I serve others when He asks me and sometimes when I don’t know if He’s asked me. Is that denying myself? It certainly doesn’t take herculean effort on my part, and isn’t self-denial supposed to be hard?

Am I carrying a cross? I’ve prayed for several family situations over a period of years, even decades. I get weary sometimes. I try to trust God in everything. In fact, I’m sure I trust Him, even if I’m reacting to my circumstances with complaints. After time spent in prayer, I have renewed energy. His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

Do I follow Jesus? I try to imitate His example. I want to radiate His love and wisdom. Like Ruth, I want to say, “Where You go, I will go” (Ruth 4:16), but have I missed His instructions at some point? Did I balk at some nudge of the Holy Spirit?

This is beginning to feel like an elementary school report card. “Linda is very capable of accomplishing the tasks she has been given, but I believe she is performing well below her potential.”

Jesus wants me to turn the other cheek, give away my coat, travel that extra mile (Matthew 5:39-41). If I’m going to truly love my fellow human being, I need to carry my cross a little further, follow Him to places I may have never dreamed of. And with His help, I can do it.

Luke 923




About Linda Sammaritan

For years, Linda Sammaritan tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher and crammed so many activities into her days that twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. She now lives by the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.” Newly retired, Linda keeps the freezer packed with homemade take-out meals for her full- time working husband when she travels to visit children, grandchildren, siblings, and Mom. Read more about her faith and writings at

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