I used to enjoy a warm cup of coffee (2 or 3 actually) each day. There isn’t anything much more relaxing than sitting down to a fresh cup of brewed coffee and something interesting to read. Each sip warms my body and calms my nerves, allowing me to really enjoy myself. I still enjoy a warm cup of coffee; I just don’t get it very often. You see, now when I sit down to my coffee, I have a 2 year old or a 7 month old yelling for my attention and pulling me away. So, I (sometimes begrudgingly) go wherever they are pulling. The other day I sat down to my warm cup of coffee while reading for grad school about the cross. I was reading about how the cross now becomes the interpretive event through which I see my life and therefore should shape my marriage, work, parenting, and everything else I am engaged in. I really enjoyed that thought, and then my 7-month-old Henry cried out from his bedroom. So I went. I wasn’t happy about it, but I went. This of course led to me having, yet again, a cold cup of coffee. I’m sitting there rocking one of my babies and thinking about how much I want to be at the table finishing my reading and my coffee when it dawns on me what I was just reading.
Through the event of the cross, I am learning to die to myself. Yet, somehow through this death, I live. Much like Paul who says he has been crucified with Christ, nevertheless he lives. It may not be living the way the powers of this age tell me I should live, but it is living in its fullest form. What I want and desire is no longer what gives me life. I’m learning, through the cross, to find life in giving mine (my desires, cares, etc.) away. If I can’t handle a simple interruption from a precious child that takes me away from a cup of coffee, I have to wonder how well I’m living into the event of the cross.
The truth is, my reaction to this simple interruption is telling of a larger story in my life. I like things my way, on my time, and in ways that make me comfortable. My frustrations with being interrupted show a larger struggle with living into the death and resurrection of Jesus. The death and resurrection of Jesus becomes the story in which I live into, which is the opposite of trying to live into my own story. Living into the death and resurrection of Christ places me in the world in such a way that being interrupted and making space for others ought to be a way of life for me, not an annoyance.
So, I may not have a warm cup of coffee for a long time. I may have people knocking on my door or moving into my life in ways that I don’t like. I may have to give into the desires of others over my own. I certainly will live a life of submission and sacrifice for my wife and family. All of this is because the cross is now the event through which I interpret all of the relationships and happenings in my life. Living into the death and resurrection of Jesus informs every aspect of my life, not the least of these being my relationships.