18 February 2015
Psalm 38 Daniel 9.3–6, 17–19 1 Timothy 6.6–19 Daniel 9.3–6,17–19 ‘For your own sake, O my God’ (v.19)
Anyone who suffers stress, or anxiety, or panic attacks knows the reality of this – how you feel like the foundations of life are no longer there. The more you try to find a secure foothold, the more shaky your hold on your life becomes. When the foundations are undermined, there seems nowhere to turn to escape. The more you struggle, the deeper you go.
It is Ash Wednesday today – a day on which to take seriously the reality of our utter dependence upon God. A day on which to remember how lost we are when we rely upon our own merit and virtue – how quickly things turn to dust and ashes in our hands without the grace of God sustaining and leading us. Let us pray today for a deepened sense of God’s grace throughout the days of Lent ahead, so we come to know more clearly and dearly, and nearly, that sustaining love. Without it, we are already the dust to which we shall return. But not yet, for God’s sake.
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
During mass this morning the Father of my church explained Lent a little different than I had heard in past years. He explained to us that this was a time of change. A time to change something about our lives that not only bettered us but also helped us be a steward for our faith. He went on to say by the end of the 40 days it's OUR goal to be a new improved person with new habits in our lives.
"At the end of the 40 days it is our goal to be a new improved person with new habits in our lives."
This one statement really reached out and grabbed me and took a hold of me. This was my time to change things about myself and about my life so at the end of the 40 days I could look back and know that I bettered myself, my family and possibly anyone around me who needs help too.
As the scriptures say above... "Daniel's cry is one of real desperation."
I AM in a position myself of real desperation. I go through my days by doing the motions of my life. I do the same thing everyday and I walk around with a smile on my face but my soul is in torment. My heart is broken and my mind is a scattered mess. I can sometimes feel myself spinning out of control because of things I have NO control over. How messed up is that?
This is day to remind us how lost we are are and how we NEED to rely upon God and His plan for us. This is a day that I HAVE to finally let go of the things in my soul and heart and move past them and move towards God. This is a day to stop praying for something to happen and just pray that God will take over. This is the day to let go, wipe the slate clean and rather than chase something or someone, I need to chase God.
As a person who likes to try and control her surroundings as a defense mechanism, I am the first person who should be letting go of that control and just learning to trust in God. People are going to lie to me, people are going to hurt me, people are going to think they are getting the better of me.... all of that will happen and continue to happen for the rest of my days on this Earth..... so why fight it? Why not just learn to stop thinking about it, let it go and give it to God? It seems so simple, yet it's the hardest thing I have to do for myself.
I am in a position of real desperation and there is NO one that is going to be able to save me. It is a time to look to Him and stop looking to others or to myself for fix me.
As I wear my ashes on my head today and I silently go through my day working, going to the gym and being with my family my words and thoughts will focus on finally letting go.
This season WILL be a time of change for me.