“‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me...’” (Matthew 16:24).
A few years ago, my children discovered – through conversations with their friends at school – that there was a computer game called Minecraft, which was a lot of fun to play. And when they discovered this new opportunity, they immediately came home from school and started to ask me if I would buy them a copy of the game and allow them to play it.
Now, when they had asked me for this computer game, they were – in fact – not allowed to play computer games at all (apart from the odd educational timetable game) and they knew that if I were to allow such a game, it would be huge. And as I am quite a mean old mother, and I very rarely give my children such a concession unless they have done something to earn it!
Finally, we made a deal. If my eldest son would get his homework done quickly and if my second son would agree to stop sucking his thumb and if my daughter would practice her reading very well – and if they would continue in these good habits for at least six whole months, then – and only then – would I buy Minecraft…
And so it was, with this goal in mind, my children began to work on their own challenges – and very challenging challenges they were too because each child had to work very hard and persist for a long time to earn this privileged goal of Minecraft.
As things do, over extended periods of time, things at times became difficult. But each time things became difficult the children would encourage each other and speak about this wonderful game that they would soon be playing. They imagined it, they spoke about it, they anticipated it. And then – finally – they received it and were allowed to play it for a whole twenty to thirty minutes once a week!
And what a wonderful incentive this had been for all manner of sacrifices in these children’s lives! And I have been reflecting on this computer game very much because it reminds me of Heaven…
You see, each of us is asked to bear a temporal Cross and follow God… “Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’” (Matthew 16:24-25).
And just as my children each bore their own challenges to earn the merit of Minecraft, so too do all souls bear their own Cross to earn the merit of eternal Salvation…
And just as my children sometimes became discouraged along the way – so too do poor weak souls such as mine. And yet – just as my children encouraged each other and refocused themselves on their ultimate goal, so too do the Communion of Saints work together to encourage all souls on their path to salvation.
And because of this I can see God is in all things! And God works such wonders for us!
Encouraging me always – even along the way of the Cross – always keeping my Salvation within my sights, just like a computer game reward, which was only ever just a few short months away…
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.