I am writing calmly about suffering and the way Jesus showed us how to bear it, how to offer it as a prayer for those we love, how not to waste the moments when suffering comes. Yet, only God knows right now how I will react when the cross comes crashing down upon me in my own life. It is easy to write or to teach or to talk about it. It is harder to walk the walk.
Jesus knew what going to Jerusalem meant for him. I sometimes stare future suffering in the face too: the person I would rather not negotiate with, the meeting I would rather not attend the surgery I would rather not have done . . . the loss to death of those who I love. There are many times in my life when I may catch myself going "up to Jerusalem." I pray that when I do catch those moments, I may do so with peace, with security in knowing God's love and presence, and with a desire to use these difficult moments as opportunities for rising to a newer spiritual life.
We all walk through some sort of suffering and death before our final death will come. We all rise from these and continue to live our discipleship as best we can. Just as I will meet my final death, this suffering-death-resurrection-pattern will also culminate in the final resurrection promised to me, to all of us by Jesus. To my way of thinking, a person who is "fully alive" is one who walks the walk in, by dying and rising daily in faith and love. That is the Resurrection Way.