Well, after some serious reflection this morning, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve failed to effectively prepare for the season of Easter. For years I’ve observed the season of Lent, which is a time of preparation and reflection as we prepare for the resurrection of our Lord. Notice I said, time of reflection. I think this is where I’ve failed. I regularly spend time in solitude and silence with my Lord. These moments of sweet fellowship with my Lord are life-giving. I couldn’t effectively minister without them. And yet I find myself (once again) exhausted as I enter Holy Week. I’m trying to extend grace to myself, but it’s hard, since only I can make the changes necessary to carve out time for more reflection. But this is a very counter-cultural activity, and I risk being misunderstood. This morning my youngest son asked, “Dad, what does it mean to take up your cross and follow Jesus?” I responded, “Well, that’s a very good question, and it has many answers. But one is that to take up our cross means to be willing to do whatever Jesus calls you to do, no matter the cost, even if it means being misunderstood or rejected by others.” I pray that I would have the courage to take up my cross this season of Easter and follow Jesus.