‘Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.’
These are the words a priest recites while smudging a cross on our forehead as part of our Ash Wednesday worship. Some find Ash Wednesday a sad day, one to be avoided. Thing is, as we recall the frailty of human life, we are also reminding ourselves that life is a gift, a treasure. Sure, we surround this remembering in solemn prayer and ritual, but this is serious stuff! Life is vulnerable to illness, aging, accident, and tragedy. Who knows, right?
Nonetheless, we have been given this day to live fully. Treasure it. Before you settle into your normal routine, ponder this day. Who will you spend time with? Colleague, family, friend? What a gift that is! The gospel for Ash Wednesday reminds us that spending our time focussed on things that are not lasting is a waste of the time we have been given. Instead we are invited to cherish this day. Have you been thinking about someone? Call them, send them a note, pop by for a visit, pray for them. Relationships are lasting., are worth the investment of time and energy.
Perhaps today will be a quiet day spent alone. Ponder the gift of this day. Invite God into the time you have been given today. Whatever you might do whether it involves a challenging task or the simple ritual of peeling potatoes, invite God to be with you as you gather what you need and devote your time to the sacred gift of today.
I wonder what treasure you will discover! At the end of the day, pause, offer thanksgiving for the gift of this day.