It is okay to wish things were easier as long as we remember that wishing and reality don’t always overlap.
Jesus wanted to make sure his followers knew everything wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. In our Gospel lesson for this Sunday Jesus tells us “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27 NRSV) How’s that for an indication as to what it might be like to follow Jesus? It isn’t that there are no upsides, there are lots of them, but if we only look at those, we can easily forget the cost of being a follower, a disciple, of Jesus.
It is relatively easy in Canada and some other places to think there is no cost at all and it is undeniably true there are more difficult places. In Canada we can be reasonably sure we won’t be persecuted or oppressed for following Jesus. In other places following Jesus can have profoundly difficult consequences. Jesus isn’t telling us everyone has the same challenges and difficulties to face. Jesus is telling us to be ready to pay whatever price we are called to pay to follow him.