As we sat around eating frozen custard with my parents, my mom casually mentioned the Ash Wednesday service at her church. I was raised Lutheran, familiar with the liturgical calendar and symbolism found in the routines and rhythms there in. The smudge found on the forehead of so many today a reminder that they were formed from dust, that our lives here exist in a flash of a moment in the spectrum of eternity, and that we will return to the dust from which we were formed.
As an adult, I attend a non-denominational and an AG church (I know, two churches, but our hearts hold to both, so for now we attend both, alternately.) My husband was raised in a mostly Baptist tradition at a non-denomination church, and I was happy to attend a service that didn’t involve so much standing and sitting and standing and sitting. (Said with much love to you Lutheran’s out there getting your squat reps in) The liturgical calendar was never part of his experience, and we have had many conversations over the years about why things are done the way they are in the church…familiarity, routine, convinence….the reasons are numerous.
But this year, this year there was a longing for something more. In the depths of my soul I could hear the Holy Spirit asking me if I would be willing to step into a new understanding of this season. If I would be willing to engage with Him and wrestle through some tough stuff. Would I be willing to lay aside some things that, although not necessarily bad for me, are not best for me? My mom’s question last night brought a reminded of this season of Lent. This season of preparation for the greatest sacrifice in all of eternity and the greatest victory ever acheived…one set in motion before the first whispers of “Light.”
For the first time in my short blink of life, I am surrendering to this season of preparation with a strong Yes to what God has asked of me. I am laying aside what he has asked me to and seeking Him more fully. It is something new, but still so familiar. And I am excited for this painful process of refining, silencing the doubts as they rear their ugly heads and trusting the One who has a good plan for my life.