If we meditate on the cross as the intersection of heaven and earth and of God and man, then we would say that the vertical axis is God/heaven and the horizontal one is man/earth. It is at the intersection of the two axes that all our decisions and actions become clear. Here is the dilemma for us humans: will we depend on ourselves and our own narrow view of life as we understand it, will we stay on the earth-bound, horizontal axis, or will we rely totally on God and the much wider view of life that is the kingdom’s view. In every decision, in every action we take, we stand at that intersection.
If we look to Jesus as our model, we would say that he chose heaven’s axis in choosing to go through the crucifixion and death. In Gethsemane at the point of decision, going back and forth between his will—“may this cup be taken from me from me”—and God’s will—“yet not as I will, but as you will.”[Matt. 26:39NIV] He chose to go along with God’s plan and perspective and set aside his own. Later from the cross he, in a moment of desolation, cries out for God, [Matt.27:46] “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” but then gives up his spirit to him.
In both these examples from the end of his life in choosing God’s will Jesus denied himself escape from his fate and yet gained a much bigger life as the resurrected Christ. So it works for us, too. We can opt for the small life we cling to or we can participate in God’s will which is always opening up opportunities for us into a bigger, more whole life.
So there every day we stand at the intersection of our small life and the bigger life imagined for us by God at our conception, at the intersection of our own will and God’s will for us, in the center of the cross. That is how simple and how complex our decisions can be when we entertain following God’s will for us. We can stay in the small self on the horizontal plane or we can opt to follow God onto the vertical axis as he leads us into the larger life for which he designed us.
Some things to ponder: when I am making a decision, how seriously do I entertain what God is asking of me? Am I aware that I stand at the intersection of my will and God’s will? Or is it all about me and my will?