There is a story in The Silver Chair that goes something like this–a child is given a set of instructions by Aslan to follow. Of course the child does not do a phenomenal job of recognizing the signs but usually they get noticed.
One involves a message that manifests itself in a kingdom of giants. The message is over a landscape, unexpected. It is a sign in a strange place.
I think of that story often because I believe that Jesus gives us a set of instructions in the Gospels, in every piece of the story of His life, but we often miss the messages because we fail to see that He does expect us to follow Him to the Cross. He says “follow Me” and we futz over the inserts in our church bulletins.
I have learned some painful lessons from following Him, but He is always clear that I am getting cross-caring lite, not the “real” burden He carried for me.
We have to go through suffering, loneliness, misunderstanding, painful sacrifice, and fierce truthtelling if we are to be like Him. And just begin to understand His great big heart.