“A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.” Mark 15:21
I have a lot to do today. Easter is in a few days, we are going to be seeing family, I have homework I am behind on, work to do, talks to write and there is at least one toilet in the house that desperately needs my attention.
Why do I blog? I blog because 1) God teaches me things, 2) it’s therapeutic for me to write and 3) if I can help bless one person with what I’ve learned, that’s cool to be a part of. Although all of that is a gift to me, writing can be difficult. It is time consuming. It’s creative (I’m not). It is editing and rewriting. In it a nutshell, it’s not efficient. And in another nutshell, that’s my problem with almost everything in life. I love and am consumed with efficiency.
This morning as I continued my journey to the cross, I felt the lingering pressure of all I have to get done. I genuinelywanted to journey to the cross this week and be intentional about dwelling in Friday and not rushing to Sunday. I reallywanted to reflect on what Jesus death cost him. But my to do list. All I have to get done. That discreet, but constant urge to sprint…
I breezed right past Simon from Cyrene. I wanted to get something meaty and interesting. Besides, random names, thoughts and other oddities in the Bible are frustrating to me. But as much as I wanted to keep reading I was drawn back to this man and his sons. I did a little reading and found out the boy, Rufus and his mother are later mentioned in Romans. I found out Mark references them by name because his readers would have been well familiar with who they were by the time Mark wrote his gospel. I found out, when God forced me to be inefficient, that this seemingly ambiguous, boring and “random” man who carried Jesus’ cross and witnesses his brutal crucifixion, walked away changed. Easter dawned so brightly in Simon’s heart it changed the trajectory of his family, his legacy and his life.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Journeying to the cross this week has taught me many things. It’s taught me that hearing from God is rarely efficient. It’s taught me there isn’t anything random in the Bible, but I’m usually in too big a hurry to dig a little. I learned that just like my relationship with my husband, kids and friends, I need to slow down. I need to trade efficiency for intimacy. I need to avoid spending time with Jesus with an agenda. I learned “seeking with all our hearts” isn’t done in a nanosecond.
Happy Easter. I hope this week has changed you as much as it is slowly, subtly and personally changing me. Most of all, I hope this weekend we will see the cross, the suffering and the hope of Easter exactly as it is. The amazing, unconditional and everlasting love God has for each of us.