Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return…
Ash Wednesday- when the rubber meets the road. I guess I’m the rubber. Ol’ dusty rubber.
I am actually one of those weird people who loves lent. I really do because I just feel like I draw so much closer to God, especially focusing on His Sacred Passion during this holy season. It’s a lot like training for a marathon. Lots of sacrifice and improvement (hopefully) so I can be ready for the big day, Easter.
It is an amazing time when God picks up the grace bucket up there in heaven and just dumps down the mother lode on anyone who wants to win the heavenly lottery. Right here Lord! Over here! I’m ready! Dump it on because I have a lot I want to accomplish and I certainly can’t do any of it unless you heap on the grace.
True confessions: (not that you want to hear it, but you’re going to anyways) I have a track record of biting off more than I can chew when it comes to Lenten promises. I keep thinking I got to raise that bar more and more until my plans call for no meat on Friday, or how about no meat all lent, or better yet, how’s about no food all lent. Well, maybe just a crust of stale bread and some warm water every third day. Yeah, and then on top of that I can make longer daily visits to Jesus, maybe an hour… no, two… you know maybe I should just move into the church. Well? I claim to love Jesus, don’t I? And I am on my way to sainthood, aren’t I? And besides that, He really needs me! If I don’t pick the banged up banana over the fresh one, it will mean I don’t love Him enough! Then I get all discouraged because I can’t live up to the lofty expectations I have conjured in my mind. And when I can’t win I pick up my marbles and go home.
That devil, he has my number all right. God has released the grace bucket because I am seeing the flaws. Not everything of course because then I would really stomp off in a pout. That warped pride disguised in holy penance and prayer needs to be un-warped, and the only one Who can un-warp it is not me. News flash again: I am a sinner! And this is the perfect time to focus on that and have God fix what I broke.
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. (Joel 2:12-13)