Monday, February 18, 2013

numbering my days

it was ash wednesday last week.
ash wednesday?! are you catholic? no, i'm not catholic. but i do love the embracing of the church calendar that provides structured space for us to reflect on holidays we celebrate. lent is much like advent in this way.

if you're like me and you grew up not observing lent, this might seem a little foreign. on the other end, you might have grown up practicing lent and didn't think much of what it was about except that you were forced to give up something you loved for 6 weeks. and don't forget, no meat on fridays! or you could just be sitting there thinking...isn't lint the annoying stuff on my black pants?

whether you come from those camps of thought or none, it doesn't matter. lent is actually great for every believer.
there is never a bad time to recognize the immense amount of brokeness in your hearts and in the world and then see the great redemption that the resurrection proclaims.
it's wrapped up in a holiday called easter...that has now become more commercial of course. more about egg hunting and bunnies and chocolate.  and hey, the obligatory church day!

as i sat in church with tears on ash wednesday, i was reminded of this great brokeness. and my mortality.
i walked up and they put ashes on my head in the sign of the cross. and i think, remember that you are dust and by dust you will return. 
i look at my husband with his ashes on his head and it proclaims his fate. i'm dying. 
it is gut wrenching to preach to yourself that your life is but a breath. as are those that you love.

but i do. not to be morbid or deeply introspective but so that i can see that this shape of the cross on my head and his head and everyone's is our only hope. the death on the cross that provided an escape for all of us who fall short.
 and yet i live like the cross is not my only hope. i think that i can find hope in accolades and being a better mother and wife. in new things. in food.
and my love for others is not seen through the lens of my short time on earth. i hoard love and give it out conditionally. i think inwardly instead of outwardly.

we read psalm 90 out loud.
and it cut me open.
so teach us to our number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 

i don't number my days. i live like i'm here forever. i live in such plenty and in such excess. i hold secret grudges and i don't love others like i love myself. save me, Lord.

and as we drove home, i repented my sins to God and i thought about Jesus knowing that his time was coming to end. and what passion he had and wisdom he had knowing that his days were certainly numbered. and i wanted to live like that. Lord help me know that i am not here forever. 

so i will take these 40 days i have left until easter and i will count them down and number them. and i will ask for a new heart and a renewed vision of what it looks like to know that i am mortal. i will take this time and space to see the reality of my sin and my need for repentance. and then i will rest in the truth that there is a redeemer who has come. who lived His life perfectly and paid for my sins so that i don't have to live in shame and condemnation of my mess-ups.

this space will create 40 days(with the exception of sundays) to take a break from something tangible: sweet treats.
my go to comfort when everything feels crazy. i can sit at the mixer and be satisfied by the calming whir of the mixer and the sugar in the cookies. starting a project and completing it.
but for these numbered days,  i will sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to the whir of wisdom and eat the sweetness of abundant hope and comfort. and rest in his finished work of REDEMPTION he did on the cross.