"I gave all". I'll probably never be able to say this honestly. I'm much too selfish. But when I was growing up, I heard this often: "I gave up everything for you, you're my life, the only thing that matters in this world". This was probably meant to provide me with a rich sense of being loved & accepted. However, it was understood (one of those unspoken things) that perpetual indebtedness was expected in return. When I failed to respond in kind, the script always ended the same. Drama, hurt feelings & silence topped off the conversation. This disaster in communication was my fault because I was just so coldhearted & ungrateful. To give up all for your child is noble, but you don't always have to be the martyr. I questioned why this person would even consent to "give all" when it was me who was left like Simon of Cyrene to fill the void, to pick up where they left off in their own life. I didn't want to carry that cross. I couldn't. But I tried.
When I hear of Jesus "giving all" for humanity, I have to admit, it's meant nothing to me. At times, its even made me feel a little angry. Why should I feel obligated to offer recompense for His decision? I never asked Him to give up anything for me. But there's a subtle difference between His gift & my parent's. He gave all not to validate Himself, but to validate me. He freely gave me the power of choice when I had none. I've been given the power to choose life over death, blessing over curses, to take up my cross & mine alone. I don't have to bear the horrible weight of His cross. He died so I could live... He rose again & lives. He is the Beginning & the End, He is the Author & Finisher of my faith. In Him I live & move & have my being, not the other way around. I've heard it said that salvation is a free gift, no strings attached. That sounds nice, doesn't it? In reality, accepting the gift requires my life. But it's not an obligation, it's a choice. And this, I think, is perhaps the better gift- the power to choose Whom I will serve.