Lent seems to have crept up on me a bit this year. There are plenty of reasons for that. We’ve had a shaky start to the year; our church doesn’t really ‘do’ much in the way of liturgy and church calendar; I’m kinda busy (achieving little but with much to do). And as a result, I haven’t really devoted much thought to Lent and what I was going to do.
But I was chatting with Big Boy (who’s 8) this afternoon about Ash Wednesday and we decided we’d go to the Ash Wednesday service at the chapel here at school.
As we wandered down, we talked about ash as a symbol of sorrow. We talked about Lent and stuff. It was a fairly small congregation and I tried to keep Big Boy going with some of the language with which he’s not so familiar. We went up together for the imposition of ashes, and these words were said:
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return, Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.
We went back to our seats and Big Boy turned to me. He looked at the smudge of ash on my forehead and said, ‘The cross isn’t very obvious’. And when he said that, I realised what I’d do with Lent. I’d work on that. Not potter around with ash on my forehead for the next 40 days, but rather to make a conscious effort to make the cross more obvious in my life. You see, I reckon the cross probably isn’t as obvious in my life as it should be. If people look at me, do they see evidence of the cross? Or do they just see another person pottering through life?
To be honest, I don’t know precisely how I’m going to ‘make the cross more obvious’. It isn’t really a measurable thing in many ways. It’s not chocolate, or carbs, or upping the prayer quota. It’s not a weekly fast, it’s not a more disciplined approach to Bible reading. But I think it’s important nonetheless. I wish people were able to look at me and see the marks of the cross. And perhaps I’ll be able to blog a bit more about it as things come up.
What about you? Are you doing anything to mark the season of Lent?