Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Ashes Remind Me To Clean Out The Dust...
Today is Ash Wednesday. As I received my ashes this morning, I was reminded once again why I love my faith so very much and why the rich Catholic traditions mean so much to me.
It has been a busy few weeks. But today, I began the day in Church. I arrived early to rest in the peace of the Holy Spirit, and it was wonderful. I centered myself before the service began and thought to myself, what shall I give up this year? For those unfamiliar with this tradition, most Catholics choose to sacrifice during the Lenten season. Some give up coffee, others give up chocolate, a few truly working on converting themselves may give up smoking or drinking.
The past few years I have focused less on giving something up and more on learning. A study of the Gospels, a book group, a prayer partner. As I sat in silence it came to me what I need to do this Lent. I need to clean out the cobwebs. I need to make every day as glorious as my days on the beach were a few weeks ago. This feeling I refer to is not about the beach, not about the ocean, or even about the weather. It was about being one with my spiritual self.
I recalled a post Adrienne did when she stopped complaining for a day. Ironically, she also recalled this today on her blog! Anyway, I really think she was on to something. I sat in the quiet of the chapel thinking about how many times a day I allow myself to get drawn into someone else's drama. Sometimes I am truly trying to diffuse the situation or offer spiritual guidance. But it is drama nonetheless. What if, I wondered, I could extend Adrienne's day into forty days? I am not by nature a negative person, but just imagine forty days of no negativity, no drama, no complaining allowed in one's life. I think I am on to something here...
It takes 21 days to create a new habit. This could become a new way of life...positive energy constantly put out into the universe. This would allow positive energy to come back to me tenfold. I like this...I am cleaning out the dust and letting the sunshine in.
I have pulled a book from the bookshelf I have had for a long time but have neglected. Max Lucado is the author and it is titled, "It's Not About You." Well, there it is. It looks like I am ready to being my Lenten observance.