Day 1: Ash Wednesday, or Setting Out
And now, two years since my last post, I am once again challenging myself to face my fears and put it–whatever “it” is—out there. Don’t think I haven’t thought about it before! I’ve thought about it many times. I’ve even started writing about a couple topics, only to lose nerve.
But now we are entering a very important spiritual season. It’s a time for preparation, reflection, renewal, atonement, and amendment. It’s Lent.
Lent means different things to different people. To most it probably means nothing at all. But the way I was taught, it’s a time of prayer, sacrifice, and denial of self. A time to pause and think about the changes necessary in our lives and hearts to become closer with God, and adjust our habits accordingly. To endeavor to magnify the things that help us on our walk with Christ, while working to give up the things that hinder us.
Of course we should always be in this state of transformation, always evaluating and evolving our internal selves. Not just at Lent, but all year. But Lent is such a wonderful reminder. It is an opportunity for us to bring the struggles of our inner selves out into the open and share them with others, so that we can all share the trials we go through and strengthen one another through prayer, support, and encouragement.
“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.” (Joel 2:12)
Our world needs this now more than ever, and I feel I need it too. So in order to commit myself to this season of introspection, I’ve decided to attempt a daily reflection and prayer for these 40 days. My hope is that by working out the knots that trouble my mind and heart in a tangible way, they won’t seem so unsolvable.
My reason for posting this endeavor on my long-abandoned blog is mainly accountability for myself. You feel the failure of a missing post more than a missing entry in a notebook no one else will ever see. But a part if it is also so that anyone who may get anything out of reading it can do so, however small an effect it is.
I have no idea how successful I’ll be in this goal. I honestly didn’t even think of it until a few hours ago. But it’s no success not to try at all. And with coffee, I can achieve anything! Oh wait, I’m giving up coffee for Lent…woops! Stay tuned for failure!
Just kidding! But if you do read along, I’ll know what to expect as much as you.
Here’s to walking an unknown path!
My prayer for today:
Heavenly Father, You know the number of my failures better than I do. You know the valley of fear I often choose to walk in instead of climbing the mountain of Your love. I ask Your help to change that, to change my life. As we enter this season of Lent, I ask that You bless mine and all Your children’s efforts and journeys to transform our lives and draw closer to You. Give me the courage to return to You in every way, help me to overcome all fear of repentance, and fill my heart with a child’s love and faith.