When God ask us to daily pick up our cross it is not a call to suffering, pain and death. It is, in fact, a call to perspective and focus. Picking up our cross (notice not picking up the cross of Christ but our cross) focuses us on the immediate future and our impending death. Our focus becomes what needs to get done before we die. Our focus has an urgency to it! How differently would we live our lives if we know we were going to die next week? A person carrying their cross knows they only have a short time to live, a short time to make their peace with those around them and a short time to think about the bigger issues of life. Do we need that kind of focus now?