The Cross Where Illusions Die

A good friend sent me this quote today. Probably everyone in the world has seen it but me, but I’ve really feasted on it today. I’m going to resist the temptation to comment on what it means to me and perhaps others of you who find it touching will comment on what it means to you first…

“We would rather be ruined than changed.
We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die.”

W. H. Auden

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14 Comments
  1. Jason October 8, 2004 at 8:24 am

    Sounds like the human condition. I am qualified to state that because I am after all, human. People simply want to be their own gods. Even God-loving Christians fall into this trap. We look back at what Eve did in the garden and feel like we would not have made the same choice she did. But as Sara Groves in a song points out, we would have been covered head to toe in fruit too. We simply want to be the controllers of our own universes.

    Climbing the cross of the moment reminds me of when Paul states to the Phillippians in Phillippians 2:12, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" NASB. Simply put, the cross of the moment is when we allow ourselves to trust in Jesus in any and all situations. He is not only our Savior in eternity, but also our Savior minute by minute and moment by moment. We need to turn to Him and trust that He is stronger than (believe it or not) ourselves.

    Illusions can look like a very good thing. However, they are nothing but a false reality that keeps us from walking hand in hand with Jesus and also keeps us from where He wants to take us. When we let our illusions die, we are finally walking in reality with the Son of God, Jesus our Lord and Savior.

    Of course, this is just my interpretation.

    Jason

  2. Jason October 8, 2004 at 11:24 am

    Sounds like the human condition. I am qualified to state that because I am after all, human. People simply want to be their own gods. Even God-loving Christians fall into this trap. We look back at what Eve did in the garden and feel like we would not have made the same choice she did. But as Sara Groves in a song points out, we would have been covered head to toe in fruit too. We simply want to be the controllers of our own universes.

    Climbing the cross of the moment reminds me of when Paul states to the Phillippians in Phillippians 2:12, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" NASB. Simply put, the cross of the moment is when we allow ourselves to trust in Jesus in any and all situations. He is not only our Savior in eternity, but also our Savior minute by minute and moment by moment. We need to turn to Him and trust that He is stronger than (believe it or not) ourselves.

    Illusions can look like a very good thing. However, they are nothing but a false reality that keeps us from walking hand in hand with Jesus and also keeps us from where He wants to take us. When we let our illusions die, we are finally walking in reality with the Son of God, Jesus our Lord and Savior.

    Of course, this is just my interpretation.

    Jason

  3. Steve October 8, 2004 at 5:15 pm

    Makes me think of the wasted years attending meetings that I dreaded and all the time wondering why my spiritual life seemed to be more and more in ruin. But rather than consider change, being trapped in tradition, I continued for many years in my illusion, trying to fulfill my obligations to a God who wanted me to take up the cross and die so that He could be my Life.

  4. Steve October 8, 2004 at 8:15 pm

    Makes me think of the wasted years attending meetings that I dreaded and all the time wondering why my spiritual life seemed to be more and more in ruin. But rather than consider change, being trapped in tradition, I continued for many years in my illusion, trying to fulfill my obligations to a God who wanted me to take up the cross and die so that He could be my Life.

  5. eddie October 8, 2004 at 9:08 pm

    Ouch!

    😉

  6. eddie October 9, 2004 at 12:08 am

    Ouch!

    😉

  7. Rudolf Roos October 9, 2004 at 3:43 am

    "the cross of the moment"

    What it speaks to me is that it is very much a thing that keeps coming back again and again. And that it hurts. Sometimes I think that I understand it, and that I have learned the lesson. That I will die (or stay dead) easily next time. But it seems that when God works deeper, that again there is this same struggle to keep illusions alive, while knowing that dying to them is the best.

  8. Rudolf Roos October 9, 2004 at 6:43 am

    "the cross of the moment"

    What it speaks to me is that it is very much a thing that keeps coming back again and again. And that it hurts. Sometimes I think that I understand it, and that I have learned the lesson. That I will die (or stay dead) easily next time. But it seems that when God works deeper, that again there is this same struggle to keep illusions alive, while knowing that dying to them is the best.

  9. Wes October 19, 2004 at 4:53 pm

    ". . . ?Fear is the angry face of offense, the ever-present temptation that so easily besets us.

    To choose between allowing ourselves to be governed by our physical senses, or to shape

    our worth and Spirit senses to the leading holy Spirit of Jesus, is our cross to embrace or reject."

    ". . . Oppressed and imprisioned by intimidation and tradition, ?we would not dare to question God about our heritage. We would

    certainly not even think of the possibility that we are His Life on the earth, in Human

    flesh. ( God, Incarnate) We would rather live in ignorant fear, be tyrannized by guilt, and

    jump through a series of prescribed ecclesiastical hoops, than to admit that we have been

    deceived and do not know God well enough to have a two-way conversation with Him."

    part of my experience as written in "Once, Upon Eternity"

  10. Wes October 19, 2004 at 7:53 pm

    ". . . ?Fear is the angry face of offense, the ever-present temptation that so easily besets us.

    To choose between allowing ourselves to be governed by our physical senses, or to shape

    our worth and Spirit senses to the leading holy Spirit of Jesus, is our cross to embrace or reject."

    ". . . Oppressed and imprisioned by intimidation and tradition, ?we would not dare to question God about our heritage. We would

    certainly not even think of the possibility that we are His Life on the earth, in Human

    flesh. ( God, Incarnate) We would rather live in ignorant fear, be tyrannized by guilt, and

    jump through a series of prescribed ecclesiastical hoops, than to admit that we have been

    deceived and do not know God well enough to have a two-way conversation with Him."

    part of my experience as written in "Once, Upon Eternity"

  11. Wayne Jacobsen October 21, 2004 at 11:46 am

    Wes,

    Loved your quotes. Also enjoyed your definition of sin on the web site… May God continue to lead us all to greater honesty and life in Him.

  12. Wayne Jacobsen October 21, 2004 at 2:46 pm

    Wes,

    Loved your quotes. Also enjoyed your definition of sin on the web site… May God continue to lead us all to greater honesty and life in Him.

  13. Mel October 22, 2004 at 8:46 pm

    Pride can be an awful thing. When I read those words, I see a fall occuring and, as you all know, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Pro 16:18)

    It also now occurs to me how our pride is capable of creating an entire life full of illusions–illusions that would be better off dead! And the reality of the Gospel–Jesus himself–can do that in our proud hearts. Great quote, Wayne. Thanks for sharing it.

  14. Mel October 22, 2004 at 11:46 pm

    Pride can be an awful thing. When I read those words, I see a fall occuring and, as you all know, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Pro 16:18)

    It also now occurs to me how our pride is capable of creating an entire life full of illusions–illusions that would be better off dead! And the reality of the Gospel–Jesus himself–can do that in our proud hearts. Great quote, Wayne. Thanks for sharing it.

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