Thursday, March 2, 2017
The Day After
The day after Ash Wednesday has come. The black ashes that were smeared across our forehead in the form of a cross have been washed away. We can once again look in the mirror and see ourselves without this dark reminder of our mortality. Perhaps, we are still afflicted with the remembrance of that sobering dose of reality when ashes touched us and the words announcing our mortality were spoken, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return," but we know the moment still remembered will soon be a moment forgotten. We will be able to get back to our harried and hurried living. We will get back to living as if tomorrow is a certainty.
It is unfortunate and sad we are made that way. Some things need to be remembered longer. Remembering for more than a moment might cause us to make some significant changes in the way we live as well as the way we see ourselves. The things we give up in Lent do not really represent significant change in our life. Instead, they usually speak of our giving lip service to a change that will have no lasting impact on our life. The discipline of giving up something for Lent is a far cry from the sacrificial living we see modeled in the Christ as He makes His way from the Mount of Transfiguration to the hill called Calvary.
Certainly, the cross does not model token sacrifice for us. It does not even remind us of the things we have decided to sacrifice for Lent. Giving up things like chocolate, or unworn clothing, or some coins, or television hardly is worthy of comparison. Instead of giving up trivial and unneeded stuff, maybe writing those Ash Wednesday words down on some cards and placing them in strategic places so that they will be seen throughout the days of Lent would be something which would help us inform our heart about the truly important things of life. "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return."