05 March 2014

Ash Wednesday. Am I really Ready?

I was driving earlier this week and kept thinking of Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday.  I thought of all the different services that will take place, I thought of the prayer and reflection that will occur, and I hoped for myself, that I may be ready to begin this season.  But as I stop to think, I can't help but ask myself: "Ready for what?"  For a time of self sacrifice?  For a time of penance?  Or maybe for a time of growth?  Either way, the honest answer comes from a very human reaction.  I am not ready.  This isn't because I don't want to observe Lent, but because, quite frankly, I'm tired.  I'm exhausted (and not from partying too much!)  Of course it wouldn't kill me to give something up, and yes, sacrifice and penance are good for the soul, no matter what, but deep down inside, I'm just not ready, nor do I want to be ready, and perhaps this will be my greatest struggle throughout this Lenten journey.  Will I be willing to give my heart to God?  And in doing so, will I be willing to dispose myself to His will, as I once did so carelessly?  I don't know, and that is what scares me.  Will I fall into a trap of routine and dogma, of law and authority?  Or will I allow choose to accept myself in a manner different than how I was trained?  
As I think about this season, giving something up won't be the struggle, the real challenge will emerge from whether or not I allow myself to love, and to be loved.  This thought alone scares me, but maybe, that is where my Lenten time will lead.  Not in a chocolate deprived angst, but in a yearning that can only be satiated by something far greater than a simple loaf of bread, or can of Coke.  Someone Grander than I.  Either way, this Lent will be a season of purple meditation, a time of thoughtful prayer, and intentional walking, but maybe that is the purpose of all this, a time to call us back to a simpler way of being in which I, and all of us, will come to find that in each step, there is healing.  A healing which comes from the One who is far greater than bread, or power, or any empty promises to which I can so easily subscribe.  Ultimately, the journey will lead where I choose to allow.  I just hope, that as I go, I will know Light and grow to love Him again, as I once did.  Shalom. Know that you are loved and peace to you.  RL

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