T.S. Eliot defines the Christian life as: “A condition of complete simplicity/Costing not less than/Everything.” As Peter Kreeft explains, "The price is everything: 100%. A worse martyrdom than the quick noose or stake: the martyrdom of dying daily, dying to all your desires and plans, including your plans about how to become a saint. A blank check to God."
A Christian life isn't something that earns you reward, its something you earn. We pay the price for being able to live that life every day, in small and large ways. Getting to live a Christian life, having that opportunity, doesn't create a debt on God's part; it creates a debt on ours. None of us had to be brought up as or convert to being Christians. We could have easily been left in the dark, out of the full light of Christ, at least during our time on earth. For an early, earthly glimpse of that light, we owe something. We owe our turn at the cross.
It’s impossible to separate Christ from the cross. When you look at a cross to bear – whatever it may be – you look at Christ too. When you look at Christ, you see, too, the cross. I think that’s why it’s so hard to get along with people. You may hear all the time how 'every face is the face of Christ'. If that’s the case, then every face you see is also the timber of the cross. Not just His cross, but ours - our cross to bear.