Disciples of Jesus are called to follow him, taking up our cross.
Because the freedom and desire to follow Jesus flow from Jesus’ own unique and unrepeatable bearing of his cross on our behalf, his invitation is a call to recognise that our burdens are real, but they are borne in the life that Jesus has won for us.
Being a disciple of Jesus does not free us from everyday burdens and cares, nor does it mean that we are free of pain or distress.
Rather it enables us to acknowledge them from the perspective of their being borne in Jesus.

From Henri Nouwen:

To “take up the cross” does not mean to look for pain. It doesn’t mean to go after the cross. It does not mean to search for a problem. We have a lot of problems. We don’t need more. Sometimes we think that to “take up the cross” means to be hard on ourselves. That is not what Jesus says. To “take up the cross” means first of all to acknowledge where we are suffering, to recognise it.
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Jesus says, “Take up your cross.” He didn’t say, “Make up your cross.” He said, “Take up your cross,” and this means to have the courage to see your pain.

Henri Nouwen, Following Jesus, SPCK, 2019, pgs 81,82.

It feels almost inconceivable to write that the football seasons are returning to normal this week after the AFL’s everyday game experiment.
Anyway, I think another NRL coach has gone. That makes four so far this season and the worst bet in the NRL would be that no others will go.
The AFL, on the other hand doesn’t seem to have the same degree of turmoil. Its major challenge is the distance from its heartland in Melbourne. That’s an existential crisis that actually rivals the soap-opera theatrics of various NRL clubs.

(Draws count as correct)
NRL (last round 6/8; season tally 74/104)
Easts
Penrith
Paramatta
Cronulla
Souths
Canberra
Newcastle
Wests

(Draws count as correct)
AFL (last rounds 6/7 and 6/8 ; season tally 60/95)
Greater Western Sydney
Port Adelaide
Brisbane
Collingwood
Fremantle
Western Bulldogs
Saint Kilda
West Coast
Richmond

When votes are taken and the moderator says “All those in favour raise your right hand,” I raise my left.
If they don’t distinguish which hand to use, I may choose either.

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