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Luke 9:23–27 ‘Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”’ (vv23–24)

T.S. Eliot wrote, ‘Remember the faith that took men from home at the call of a wandering preacher. Our age is an age of moderate virtue and of moderate vice when men will not lay down the Cross because they will never assume it. Yet nothing is impossible, nothing, to men of faith and conviction.’

He speaks of detachment, the pilgrim’s second principle. Every disciple is invited to choose the degree to which they take up the cross (Luke 9:23), for pilgrimage will always involve discomfort.

Our response to a sense of God’s call, such as mine to contemplative prayer, follows a consistent pattern. As it takes root and starts to blossom, it faces increasing challenges to ongoing implementation. 

Bringing our daily life and God together is essential.

Every call demands our perseverance in finding ways to fulfil it effectively, and one price is a personal inconvenience (Luke 9:57–62). It will often mean many false starts as we struggle to integrate our call into our daily lifestyle, but bringing our daily life and God together is essential. 

Very quickly we feel like foreigners in a familiar landscape, as our voluntary discipleship appears to be at odds with the majority in society. This is the discomfort of moving into the learning zone, the sweet spot between personal challenge and outright panic. 

Our courage to learn is motivated because mortality is short-lived and is never the main game. But our learning, with its many risks and discoveries, is preparing us for eternity, the purpose of our lives.


Deut. 5:28–33; Ps. 119:129–136; 2 Thess. 3:1–5; 1 Peter 2:11–25


What distracts you from pursuing God? Do you have the conviction to loosen its grip?
Entering the learning zone is stretching yet essential to grow your faith.


‘Lord, I choose to take up my cross and follow You. Help me when the going gets tough. Amen.’

Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.