"Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return."
These words were spoken over my head tonight during our Ash Wednesday service at church. As I received the sign of the cross in the form of ashes on my forehead and heard RG's challenge to turn from my sin, I was reminded again of the frailty of life and the precious gift that it is. Just last year the ashes now on my forehead were the living green palm branches with which we welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday. But, like all things living, they died. This morning they were burnt and their ashes reserved to be placed on our foreheads - my forehead - to remind us that we too are made of dust.
Instead of feeling awful about how to purge my life of my sinful deeds, I found myself reflecting on all of the things I wanted to try to do during this Lenten season. How could I use this time to allow God to renew my spirit? Who could I minister to? How would I allow others to minister to me?
I encourage you to make the most of your time as dust during this Lenten season. Don't beat yourself up because of the things that you have done. Rather seek out those spiritual disciplines and acts of service that you've left undone for in seeking after Christ, you will of necessity be turning from your sins.
"Remember, you were created by God from the dust of the earth. You are dust and to dust you will return. Now turn from your sin and follow the gospel."