40 days, 40 spaces

A very happy Ash Wednesday to you all!

That might seem a bit contradictory. Ash Wednesday, after all, is a day of repentance, a day to remember that “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The general vibe is not one of good cheer.

But I am hopeful. I am going into Lent with a feeling of anticipation, not deprivation. I am excited about getting a chance to reboot myself, to look deeply into my life and see where I stand with God, with myself, and with my neighbor.

Father Michael at our parish mentioned tonight that Lent is “an inside job,” a chance to do some of the interior work that we usually try to distract ourselves from doing. (I am certainly a master at distracting myself!)

I want to be less distracted from what is really important to me. It’s time to break out the three tools of Lent:

  • Prayer – to really listen to what God is trying to tell me about life and how to live it;
  • Fasting – to break free from those distractions by giving them a rest for a while and trying out some new, healthier habits; and
  • Almsgiving – to look at the ways that I treat myself to luxuries while those around me are going without necessities, and to try to share some of my abundance with others.

The 40 spaces I mention in the title? I am going to follow along with the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge, in my own little way. I’m going to try to completely clear a space in my home each day and keep it clear for all of Lent. We shall see how I do! For today, I have cleared off the bench in my entry hall. It looks beautiful in its emptiness.