So Today is ash Wednesday, a realization I came to when I saw my charge nurse emerge with this huge sign of the cross on her forehead. Time flies I thought to myself, remembering not so long ago when we celebrated Easter( at least I remember seeing stuffed Easter eggs and bunnies at Walmart at this time last year). As I worked, I watched tons of staff and patients alike waltz through the halls of the hospital donning this sign of the cross, a depiction of the suffering and pain that our Savior and Christ endured so we may be free and that we might Live. As I delved into the chaos and pressure that some days at work bring, I could not help but ponder on the weight of the season, to believers that is; a cognisance of a higher power, a pull towards the core of existence and the true definition of SACRIFICE.
Try as I may, I could not resist the urge to voice out my thoughts, I had to ask: "Ms G, what are u giving up for lent this year?" and her eyes shone like she had just been granted a visit with the president of the new world, and without quivering she said, "eating too much" and with an undertone she whispered, "coffee". Without thinking I replied and said, 'that's good for you at least you get to lose some weight', a misspeak on my part I agree but she took it in stride and was not angry or irked by my uneducated remark; The end to our short but meaningful conversation.
As I continued through the day and on my drive back from work, my mind revved, the result being a download of the many opportunities I had had to make things right between me and God, the things I have taken for granted, the people and faces I have looked down on, the times I have scorned people and laughed at their efforts to make decisions that would heavily impact their lives, the many failures I have let bring me down, instead of serving as elevators to take me to my final destination.Likewise, on days such as this, I am reminded of the many times I have forgotten to be grateful for the things I think are my rights, even when they truly are privileges. I am brought back to face the reality that although it seems rosy right now for me, there are people questioning God's authenticity and his power over their lives because of the various crises they are facing. So why then does it seem so big a deal that we have to give up certain mundane stuff(especially eating meat, which for meat lovers like myself is a biggie), when he himself gave his best so that we can be at rest knowing he has us blessed above and beyond our wildest imaginations.
We however should be awakened from our slumber and be made to understand that its not just in the things we give up that defines us, but in our relationship with God himself. We can join the bandwagon of religion or be trendsetters and do things our way but without a true knowledge and understanding of who God truly is and the need to be willing to give up certain things for the greater good and progression of Gods kingdom, we are but a school of clueless fishes living in an environment where we have everything but are dying of dehydration and starvation. So welcome to an era where SACRIFICE seizes to be a painful experience, but becomes an act of WORSHIP and THANKS for the even GREATER GIFT that was given for our sake a very long time ago.
So for those who participate in lent and have decided to give up something, Godspeed and grace to you, and for those like me who do not practice length but believe in the significance and power of Easter, Don't forget to stay connected to the source as we trust God for fresh unction to not just learn to Sacrifice, but to be the SACRIFICED!