"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34).
I read this verse from Mark and my heart does two things at once: it flutters in delight—YES, Lord—my deepest desire is to follow You!
And simultaneously shudders at the thought of discipleship: denial of self. The letting go of pride and selfishness. Unclenching my fists and holding them towards Heaven—palms wide open.
I will step forward with a heart full of trust, expectation, and eager desire to go where He leads to do the work He created me to do. It's a joy to be able to work for His greater glory and my greater good.
But the shininess of the world around me catches my eye. Work harder to be seen. Seek affirmation, fame, and fortune in each moment of this earthly life. Do whatever and say whatever is popular. Go with the flow. Stay comfortable. It is constantly tempting to embrace the ways of the world.
And yet, I am drawn back into the simple yet profound heart of Christ as He says, "What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" (Mark 8:36)
The shine is here in this world. And yet the glory of God shines brighter.
And to share His light is what you and I were created to do.
Today I will take up my cross and follow. In the littlest ways, I will follow. In the ordinary ways, I will follow.
I will recognize You, God, in the moments of this day. I will be Your light. I will work where You have planted me with open hands and heart. I will not be ashamed of Who You are or who You created me to be. Increase in me today, Jesus. Remind me that You have gone before me with the Cross. Teach me to carry it well. Walk steadily with me in this day.
Here I am, Lord. I will follow You.
Today, offer a simple morning offering as you begin your day.
Shalini Blubaugh is a Minnesota transplant living in Denver, Colorado with her sweet husband, Matt, their brand new gal pal, Callan, and quite large GSD pup, Sully. She is a health coach and loves pizza, because #balance. Shalini graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, served with NET Ministries, and went on to attend Law School. She graduated with her J.D. and happily leaves all things Law behind! Some of her favorites include travel, re-connecting with old friends and making new ones, the ways in which God so beautifully brings all things full circle in His time, and a good, loud thunderstorm. Find out more about her here.