Ash Wednesday — the first day of Lent, 46 days before Easter….
When I was a kid (and Catholic) Ash Wednesday was a pain, forced by rote to engage in a ritual with little explanation, no understanding and even less care. For me it only meant I would deprive myself of something I wanted, something I desired for 6 days every week. The idea that missing a Hershey bar or two during the week might lead to prayer was lost on a twelve year old kid who had less understanding of prayer than he did of Lent.
Fast forward half a century (HALF A CENTURY????? — yes, half a century. My, how time flies while you’re making other plans)
… anyway …
I’m no longer Catholic, (then again I’m no longer Baptist either), while my understanding of prayer has gotten only a little better, now my understanding of the ‘spiritual discipline’ of Lent has blossomed. That very subtle and mostly benign depravation is a frequent reminder to turn my thoughts from the triviality of my desire to the ‘person’ of my desire; from me to Him; to seek Him, to praise Him, to thank Him, to worship Him, every day all day all the time.
Ash Wednesday — the first day of Lent, for Catholics it marks the first day of a time of fasting and prayer for 40 days (skipping the Sabbath) that ends with Easter. We non-Catholic followers of Jesus, the Son of God who paid our sin debt in our place, might do well to borrow this discipline. Setting aside some little thing of our indulgence for a time in order to focus on prayer, in order to grow closer to Him, in order to the path of His leading just might result in being closer to Him, following Him where he leads, in being s Christian instead of a Catholic or Baptist or self-righteous …
… just a thought
““Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!””