Tell me I’m not good enough. Tell me I’m dying.
Tell me the treatment is disturbing and drastic, that it will take up all of my time.
Tell me I’ll have to give up lots of things I like and take up other things I hate.
Tell me it’s worth it.
Tell me I need Jesus in the worst possible way.
(from the Catholic World Report; click here to read full article)
Today, I will walk into the chapel, somber, quiet. Today, I will be asked to look inward, recognize and name my sins. I'll be led down a path of repentance. I'll be marked with ashes, reminded that from dust I came, and to dust I will return. Today is Ash Wednesday.
Each year I give up something or multiple things. Maybe it's Facebook; maybe it's a certain type of food. Maybe it's eating out. I choose to give up something that consumes too much time or attention.
But I also seek out something to add to my life, something to enrich my time, my thoughts. Maybe I study a particular book of the Bible. Maybe I spend time at a certain quiet, beautiful place. Maybe I give myself a particular healthy practice to live out - eating nourishing food, reading, writing letters.
All of this, though, is outward and is only as good as the inward changes. Will I courageously take this season to examine my impatient ways, ungratefulness, my search for something better? Will I love more deeply, act more obediently, throw off the sin that so easily entangles?
Will I know more truly that "I need Jesus in the worst possible way"?