Dying to Ourselves

An old violin maker used to select the wood for his instruments only from the north side of the trees because he said; the north side was the side that the fiercest windstorms beat upon the trees. The violin maker had found that the wood from the north side was stronger and more resilient, such a wood made an instrument that was richer in tone and timbre.

On a winter night when the storms were raging and the trees would groan under the violent gusts. The violin maker would smile and say, the trees are simply learning to be violins.

The trees of the wood are parables of Christ’s hard to embrace words: that in dying to ourselves we become something greater, that in letting go of the fleeting and passing we become richer, that in the suffering we endure we become stronger, in the failures we experience we become wiser.

If we are true to Jesus’ call to discipleship, we will find ourselves embracing values that run counter to what society honours, taking the first lonely and difficult steps toward reconciliation and peace, putting aside our own needs and wants for what is best for family and community; we will choose to take up the cross, not out of a sense of self-loathing or pessimism but out of a sense of conviction and hope that the demands of the cross will result in the life and love of the Easter promise.