We’re under a tornado watch here in Alabama and it seems like a perfect time to write about what really matters. The recent furry of a tornado’s wrath left a path of death and devastation in nearby Lee County. The vulnerability of life is painfully fresh in our minds and hearts.
At times like these, we hold on to those we love a little closer. We weep with those who weep and pray from the depths of our souls for those who have encountered tragic loss of loved ones and life as they once knew it to be.
Life is often such a mix of pain and joy without any early warning alerts in the forecast. How often are we ushered into situations and seasons much like strong winds suddenly blowing through a once still and quiet neighborhood.
With these thoughts in mind, Ash Wednesday also ushered in another season of Lent and a time to refocus our hearts and minds on what really counts in life…what really matters.
On Ash Wednesday we surrender ourselves again to the cross of Jesus Christ and allow the sign of the cross to mark us yet again — to be re-purposed through repentance …re-focused …renewed by the power of the resurrection.
It’s in the remembering as the dust of ashes are smeared on us that we are from the dust …“For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19 NKJV)
And I thought these quotes might prompt us to move a little closer to the heart of God during this season of Lent — a season not mentioned or mandated in the Bible, yet a time set aside each year to stop and pay attention to our spiritual well-being much like an annual checkup brings opportunity to re-calibrate our life toward better health for our body.
Quote #1 for quiet reflection …
How often do we say we don’t have enough time to do the things we really want to do? or be with the people we love? Is it truly a matter of time or more a matter of priority? Is it a matter of being honest in our answers? Or could it be that it’s actually revealing what we really love most?
Consider reading the rest of Ann Voskamp’s post and this free 40-Day Lent Devotional resource “God’s Word Spoken Here” for you and your family to build more of God’s heart into your own life and the little ones you are nurturing.
Quote #2 for quiet reflection…
If relevant (according to google) means “closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered,” irrelevance is not those things.
I had to ask myself the question, “How often have I made my own personal passions a preference in how I wanted to do things or how I thought things should be done?” Have my passions subtly crossed the line to expectations of others? Have I made that the “right” way of doing things without considering the balance diversity of passion brings? Has this become the standard by which I measure spiritual behavior? “My way or the highway?” Has this limited my view of the gift others bring to the table that might offer a different menu than I prefer?
I’ll let you think about that a minute or two.
Quote #3 for quiet reflection…
Going back to the “to dust you are and to dust you shall return” may leave you in a bit of quandary. How do you feel about being “dust?” Personally, dust doesn’t sound very special and mostly makes me sneeze. How can that be comforting? What can I learn from this passage? This word, “dust?” How does it shape my priorities in life? Passions? Pursuits? Is it a negative or a positive? Going back to the original context in Genesis about how God formed Adam (and later Eve), what can I learn? “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (See Genesis 2 –especially verse 7) Is this a mess that needs to be cleaned up or the reality of our need for the Creator to shape us? Hmmm…
A few years ago I began by “Embracing the Season of Lent” to taking a “Journey Through the Season of Lent.” Every year I pray for God to reveal more of His heart as I take time to stop and do a re-check on my spiritual heart condition. This year, questions come to mind to prompt the process.
As we once again take a trek through the season of Lent, I think I’ll ask more questions and dig a little deeper. As we enter into God’s presence a little more in this time leading up to Easter, I’d love for you to join me in the journey and share your answers to the questions …or maybe more questions! Either way, let’s do this together.
Embrace the season. Take the journey. Ask the questions.
Resources and Credit:
#1: Ann Voskamp –post shared on March 6, 2019, “(Free 40 Day Lent Devo) Want a Lent of More? How to have a Lent of Abundantly More God (Part 1)”
#2: Peter K. Greer spoke to us on February 26, 2019 at the CornerStone Initiative C4 Conference::Mission Matters here in Hunstville, AL. His books are very relevant and thought-provoking. His information and resources can be found HERE.
#3. King David in the Bible, Psalm 103 (NLT).