The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.
C. S. Lewis Mere Christianity
One day you wake up and realize that you’re not living life but life is living you. We have become driven by the creatures—our schedules, our work, our possessions, our hungers. And we said to our growing uneasiness, certainly this is how it is. We look at others whose lives are equally overstuffed and confirm, this is the way it is to live as a modern person. This is what it means to be good to ourselves. We deserve a little of this and a little of that. It’s not healthy to repress our desires. It’s dangerous to want and to not have. This is life. We work hard. We play hard.
Then BANG! Jesus swerves into our peripheral vision and causes a collision between our appetites and the deep need for soul food. When did this happen? Was it when you held your first child in your arms? Was it a heart attack? Was it a train wrecked relationship? Did you one day realize you were dying a slow unsung death. Or perhaps it was the incomprehensible work of the Spirit applying the work of God’s grace to your famished heart. Whatever the travail we set our packages down and took up His cross, submitted and followed.
We stopped aiming at earth and started aiming at heaven and then realized, in hindsight, that earth was thrown in.
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
– Pastor Hartman