On the road of life there are many conundrums. These complex problems confuse us with no apparent clear solutions.

We know that we were made to share in the Divine joy and happiness here on earth. But then Jesus tells us to, “Deny yourselves. Take up your cross and follow me.”

Are we suppose to be happy or not? What are we to strive for? How do we do both?

This seems like a perplexing problem with no clear “one answer”.

But God would not put us into a situation with no way out!

Now as everyone in Jesus’ day understood, “cross” means simply meaning the true work of the day,” which is the opposite of busy work or just hanging around.

And how do we know what the true work of the day is? Our gifts tell us, our circumstances tell us. And the Spirit speaks the word directly to our hearts. If we are listening, we will know each day what our true work is and our joy will come from doing it.

If you want to be happy, Jesus says, “take up your cross.” Don’t run away from your life’s work or from the true work of the day. Turn toward it. Engage it. Give your whole self to it.

Living that way has its price. But the spirit guiding our lives will give us what we need as we need it. The alternative, running away from our life’s work and betraying our gifts, will in the end bring only pain.

Jesus’ advice is relax in the Lord. Forget yourself and your fears. Hand over your life to the Holy Spirit inside you and then, with the freedom and energy that only the Sprit can give, spend your life, – every last drop of it – spend your life on the good work our Father has given you.

Happiness will follow as surely as day follows night. Happiness will follow.

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