Preparation for the journey

22 February is Ash Wednesday.

20 Feb 2023

 Caregiver Infront of stained glass window featuing crucifix

How do you prepare for a trip away from home? Do you plan weeks ahead and make lists and piles of what you need, or are you in a flurry of tossing things into a bag at the last minute?  Possibly you find yourself a balance between the two, there are lists but it seems you are always in a mad rush at the deadline. Preparation for something important may be done in many ways and it is the forward movement that shows progress, no matter how small the steps.

The season of Lent starts today with Ash Wednesday, 40 days until Easter. This season is known as a period of preparation and Ash Wednesday offers us an invitation to participate by offering us an opportunity to pause and reflect.

When we pause on Ash Wednesday, and accept the invitation to take a look at our lives and reflect on our best selves we run the risk of feeling disappointed. We all come up short occasionally and it can make us feel uncomfortable at the thought.  St Francis de Sales reminds us to “have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself.” Just like preparation for that trip away from home though, it is the forward movement that shows progress. 

The 40 days of Lent starts today by offering each of us forgiveness for being less than our best selves; then provides an invitation to make forward movement. Irrespective of your faith background, it can be a time of making sacrifices, of letting go and of checking in with yourself each day. When we stop and reflect, we owe it to ourselves to make a commitment to growth. Once we commit in our hearts to a hope of new possibilities, we can be sure of taking forward steps, no matter how small.

How will you answer the Ash Wednesday invitation to participate in preparation for Easter?