Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Several years ago a heater malfunctioned in a friend's home, and though their home was saved a lifetime's collection of books on arctic exploration was severely decimated.  And still today, when I think of the Imposition of Ashes -- that tradition we associate with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent -- the images seared into me by that fire surface again.

I don't know about you, but I can get so caught up buying presents during the Christmas season that I begin looking at everything through the eyes of acquisition.  And that habit has a way of persisting long after the tree is down and the ornaments are put away -- which is why I've always appreciated Lent. 

Those ashes stop me in my tracks.  All that you have accumulated in this life can be lost, they say.  And then -- what really matters? What will be left when all we've collected so carefully is gone?

What DOES matter, really?  And how can we do a better job of reminding ourselves of that?  Lent doesn't have to be about giving up.  But it can be about giving more: more thought to our actions; more love to our friends, family and communities; more time and energy to the things that really matter in our lives.  And with luck, after 40 days of practice, giving more might actually become a habit...

1 comment:

Maureen said...

I really like the approach of making Lent about giving more.

May peace be with you.