One Way to Look at It: Climb

The task is simple.  Climb.  And carry what you’ve been given.  
There are paths weaving and crossing their way up the hill.  There is the Door at the bottom, where the One stands, assigning crosses to be born while ascending.  

He knows.  He was the first.
The paths are littered with followers.  Some press on, one small step at a time.  They barely look up.  They feel that they will never arrive, but they never stop either.  Others plow ahead in bursts, then stop and gaze upward, pausing too long in their wondering of how long will it take to get all the way up there?!  Some seem to walk in circles, or go up one stretch only to turn downward in another.  
There are those who focus on the crosses shouldered by others.  Some find their own crosses too light and worry that they aren’t doing their due by carrying so little, and in doing so risk confusing the mercy of a light load with not shouldering enough.  Others find their crosses too heavy and have come to a halt, complaining that until someone makes it easier, they cannot be expected to push forward in this endeavor, forgetting that it is always and forever a choice that they can walk away, but whether they stay or go, their own feet must take the steps.
Then there are the routes available.  Some are smoother.  Some are far more treacherous, strewn with loose pebbles that make the very ground move under a footstep.  Each can choose their own direction, though most are communicating in one way or another - warning against a hard way, encouraging toward a good one, even complaining that those who are not walking the exact same patches of dirt must not be heading toward the same end, must surely not be as earnest in their intention to honor the example of the King.
But progress is not to be measured in speed, trajectory, population, burden or lack thereof.  None along the way can accurately determine the value of another’s path combined with their burden, strength, conviction and influence.
The task is simple.  Climb.  And carry what you’ve been given.