Ash Wednesday : Your Work Will Be Rewarded

k2773601For those of us who observe Lent, today is a day that we are asked to be brave and remember that some day we will die. It is Ash Wednesday. We remember that we aren’t perfect, and as Christians, we need to renew our awareness that Jesus offered His life in order that we may stumble into God’s light….but not alone. God doesn’t want us to be afraid of failure – but the relentless pressures of life, even the most basic stuff, sometimes feels just like a black smudge right in the middle of my noodle.

So, sometimes I imagine my worst fears, my greatest burdens – I dredge them up and then close my eyes and imagine that I am in a row boat with Jesus. Some days just the undone heaps of laundry are enough to send me into an anxious flurry of worry. But, the boat image – it always helps.

The President of Saint Ambrose University wrote something interesting in an online Lenten reflection:

“The great Psalm 51 is perhaps the ‘classic’ articulation of our awareness of our sinfulness:

‘Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness…For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always.’

We know that we are need of forgiveness: from God, from each other, even from ourselves. In God’s dealings with humanity as seen in the Scriptures, we see that God asks us to DO something in order to show a sincerity in our search for forgiveness.

I also found some related quotes, and have been pouring through some photos which, to me, don’t smack of failure one bit.

“Time is the coin of your life.

You spend it.

Don’t let others spend it for you.”

Carl Sandburg

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“Nothing strengthens authority

as much as

silence.”

Leonardo da Vinci

whole wrld

“But as for you,

be strong and

do not give up,

for your work will be rewarded.”

2 Chronicles 15:7

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Litany: Billy Collins

Litany by Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,

The crystal goblet and the wine…

~Jacues Crickillon

 

You are the bread and the knife,

the crystal goblet and the wine,

You are the dew on the morning grass

and the burning wheel of the sun.

You are the white apron of the baker,

and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

 

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,

the plums on the counter,

or the houses of cards.

And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.

 

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,

maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,

but you are not even close

to being a field of cornflowers at dusk.

 

And a quick look in the mirror will show

that you are neither the boots in the corner

nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

 

It might interest you to know,

speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,

that I am the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

 

I am also the moon in the trees

and the blind woman’s tea cup.

But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.

You are still the bread and the knife,

not to mention the crystal goblet and – somehow – the wine.

Does the Mad Pace Get To You as Well?

Have you ever had one of those conversations with yourself that go like this:?

Centered Self: “You’ve never been one that gains energy from multitasking. Be gentle.”

Berater Self: “I am a Lazy. Butt. Just saw SusieQ. I know for a fact she already worked forty hours this week. She handled the Veteran’s day popcorn distribution for the whole school on her day off. She looked like a million bucks, and the more I get to know her, it’s true. She is sincerely nice. Not lazy.”

Gentle Self: “People really enjoy your smile because it comes out of your eyes more than your crooked tooth smile. Not every face can pull that off.”

Angry Self: “I hate traffic. I hate vegetables. I hate luke warm coffee. I hate dirty dishes. I hate kitchen sink scum. I hate mohawks. I hate mullets. I hate Talbots. I hate Dillard’s. I hate malls. I hate shopping. I hate shoppers. I hate people who smile. I hate people who smile while they shop. I hate mall shoppers who smile on the way into Talbots. I hate Talbot loving mall shoppers who smile because they think their sink scum is better than mine.

Wait…think their scum is less than mine is the correct syntax perhaps. I don’t care. I hate them!” 

Prayerful self: “Stop it! Listen!

hear that?

It was your muscle popping loose. Nope. Sit still a little longer. Rewind the song. Nope. Reheat the coffee in a bit.

Listen.

Rewind the song (Alexi Murdoch, “Song For You”).

You’re so tired, you don’t sleep at night
As your heart is trying to mend
You keep it quiet but you think you might
disappear before the end

And its strange that you cannot find
Any strength to even try
To find a voice to speak your mind…

Feeling Better Self: “Oh the strings in that song. So beautiful. I’m not so alone after all. 

Earth Wind and Fire Throw Back!

I Forgot that I jacked up my playlist. Nice!”