Reflections for the Journey
Leaving everything behind, stripped bare of all of the past and, like the legendary phoenix, from the ashes will rise a new beginning, a new life. Our Australian bushland knows this story, it is the story of each new generation, and it is part of God’s plan. We are called to walk through the fire and cover ourselves with ashes, a sigh that we know that we began as a speck and will one day return to the earth in our mortal body. Yet like the seed with so much hidden potential, that requires the heat of the fire to crack open, we too have hope that within us that part that is slowly being formed will seize hold of the potential and rise to new life.
So, we gather and place ash upon our heads and remember we are dust, we are sinners who although undeserving to have Him enter under our roof, know that by His word we are made whole.
Walking in the desert it is lonely, peaceful, barren yet full of life. It is where the prophets go to hear the voice of God. It is where Jesus went to prepare for his ministry. It is a place where the interruptions are those forced on us by our own thoughts. The temptations are mostly distractions from our real purpose. The hunger and thirst are nothing compared to our pride and earthly desires for recognition, for love, for possessions and good health. All are mirages when compared with the mission to which we are called; to deny ourselves and come follow Him; to see the place where He lives.
Forty days, a little over a month, seems like a drop in the ocean of our life. Some say that it takes forty days to change a habit. Is this forty days for us to recreate ourselves, to reform who we are, to make ourselves something closer to that which we are called to be?
Lent means spring, the season of new life of unrestrained growth. We celebrate it in autumn, the season of letting the last season’s growth fall away to prepare the earth for the next season of growth. Both symbolise putting off the old and taking on the new. Both seasons are vital for the survival of the ecosystem. It can be a springboard for us to change, a catalyst for us to take on something we have been holding back from. It can be a time to spring clean our lives in order to make room for The Life.
© 2013 Marie Fernandez