Sort of counter-intuitive to our basic desire for survival and self-preservation, we are called by Jesus to give up our lives. This doesn't make a lot of sense, but not giving up our life is not an option if we want to follow the One who gave His life for us.
It reminds me of the scene in the movie Divergent when the initiates are told to jump off a building. Tris carefully perches herself on the ledge of the building and after some moments of fear, flings herself into an unknown dark hole in another roof top below. She has an abrupt but safe landing on a giant net obscured by the shadows that catches her and saves her from death. The truth is, had she tried to save her own life by staying on top of the building, she may have been executed.
We cannot stay in the safety and comfort zone of our own life. We have to give it up for the freedom and amazing adventure of a life with Jesus. If we stay in our worldly security, we die a little each day, but if we jump, take up our cross and fall in line directly behind Jesus we truly live more and more each day. There is only one path, it is straight and it is narrow, but it is marvelous. The path is revealed only a step at a time sometimes.
I recently preached a sermon that included some of these thoughts. You can watch it here: