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Ash Wednesday Saying “Yes” to Beginning

TODAY is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, a 40-day season of somber penitence. Do you find the thought of it as overwhelming as I do?

For several years I’ve practiced some form of fasting and engaged in intentional spiritual practices during Lent. Some years I’ve found these days full of meaning and significance. And other years I’ve fallen off the wagon, my attempts tepid and my resolve weakened with time.

But TODAY is a new day and a new beginning. And I’m reminded of what a grace it is to receive the invitation to start again; to orient my heart toward God afresh. TODAY is an opportunity to reset. To review my intention to a life of following Jesus TODAY.

I read this morning, “The Lord’s path to glory was not one supersonic upward flight, but traversed a rocky way of setbacks, humiliations, suffering and death, and has blazed a trail for us to follow.” TODAY I get to say yes, again. And tomorrow I will have the same choice.

While often we associate Lent with 40 days of fasting, deprivations, and solemn reflections of Christ’s suffering (and it is and can be all that), more than anything, Lent is saying “yes” each day to a “workout for the heart.” Lent is about a daily spirituality of the heart. Of listening to God with the ears of the heart, of orienting one’s heart toward God each day.

TODAY I am grateful to say “Yes” to begin the workout. I don’t need to look beyond TODAY, to the long road ahead and the worry that I won’t make it or succeed in all my intentions. I simply need to say “Yes” to TODAY. After all, that’s how any journey begins—by saying “Yes” to taking the first step.

Will you say “Yes” to TODAY?

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