Today is Ash Wednesday.
It is the first of 40-days leading up to Easter, a period during which many religious persons contemplate their mortality, mindful of the curse ascribed to mankind by God in Genesis—the dust to dust cycle. You’ll see folks wearing a dark smudge on their forehead, and giving up some favorite something in observation of Lent.
I suppose contemplating one’s mortality is a helpful exercise, if you’re obsessed with the notion you’re never going to die, believe you will remain eternally youthful, and are basically bullet-proof. Personally, I face reminders of my mortality during the other 325-days of the year, too. Every morning I awaken with a breathing tube strapped to my grille so I don’t suffocate from sleep apnea. I used to worry about hair turning grey. That was before most of if all turned loose.
I am a walking poster-boy, proof-positive that we’re all going to die, and that date with destiny is one day closer than it was yesterday.
Don’t despair—clean house!
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and a Swifter from stem to stern.
By the way, this Easter thing is a wonderful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I fully believe it, along with His suspension of the laws of the universe, and the Virgin Birth.
(That birth event, by the way was like any other; the conception was the miraculous part. Similarly, I believe His death, while quite brutal, was essentially the same experience we will al one day have--a separation of our spirit from our body. The point of Jesus was His coming back to life as a human being, before being transfigured into Heaven.)
I also believe He left an example that His death and resurrection should be commemorated, respected, and kept close each first day of the week, not just at Easter time.
So you won’t find smudges on my face today, but if you look closely you may catch the remnants of a CPAP imprint.
What am I giving up for Lent?