Every Ash Wednesday, without fail, I go into with a bit of a pious attitude and ready not to look like I’m fasting: Makeup, check. Nice outfit, check. Smile, check. Ashes, check.
I’m there, guys. I. Am. There. This is going to be the Ash Wednesday that’s actually holy and focussed. But the inevitable always happens. On Ash Wednesday, I end up getting distracted and drooling over that sub-par chocolate bar and my questionable leftovers from Mardi Gras. Why? Because I can’t have them. Isn’t that life, though? We always want what we can’t have. Believe it or not, my body isn’t actually craving expired carbohydrates. My mind is craving it. And it’s ALL I can think about.
Or, how about my forehead not itching 364 days of the year, but on Ash Wednesday you would think the mosquitos down here in Louisiana had their way with me. For whatever reason, I get completely distracted by the ashes on my forehead that aren’t usually there. And it’s ALL I can think about. I’m uncomfortable being outside my comfy, typically day. Imagine that.
Maybe the beauty I need to focus on this Ash Wednesday and the rest of Lent, is knowing that the “uncomfortable” is part of life...and accepting it. If I didn’t feel uncomfortable, I think I’d actually be missing the point. I’m uncomfortable on Ash Wednesday, sure, but if I’m being honest, isn’t life kind of uncomfortable, in general? It’s uncomfortable down here because we aren’t made for here. We are made to be with Him. Earth is my temporary home. So this Ash Wednesday, when I want those Chick-fil-A waffle cut fries that I pass 4 times a day or when my forehead starts to incessantly “itch”, I’ll try to take that opportunity to praise God for the reminder that I am made for Him and Him alone.