Today's text was Mark 8:27-38 "...If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me..."
The idea is that taking up your cross is voluntary. Our circumstances are not "our cross" if they are things that we have no control over - serious illness, natural disaster. It's our response to life that is our cross. I can choose to focus only on myself and my desires or I can choose to follow Christ no matter what happens.
The cross-bearer chooses the way of love over self-centeredness.