As Orthodox Christians near the end of Great Lent, we gaze a short distance and see that great and holy day of Good Friday with the Cross standing at its midpoint.
E.M. Bounds observes, "All God's plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them."
This is a tough reality for us Christians. We live in a culture that is always encouraging us to establish our identity and make a statement about who we are. In the end, we are ultimately all beautiful and unique in Christ with the identity that God has placed and cultivated us. But the world often encourages us to establish our identities outside God and when we fall into this way of thinking, we find a certain vacuum, a certain emptiness.
I am so sure I know what the ideal job, the ideal career move, the ideal college is and I rush blindly in, trying to define myself without total submission and release to God in all His love and wisdom. So the key is to die to myself through the cross, to my will, to my plans and through this painful process to rise to life fully in the way that God calls me.