I was not in a very reflective mood today.
To put it in as nice a light as possible, I’ll say I was grumpy.
And my child has an ear infection. So she’s grumpy, I’m grumpy, we’re just one big grumpy family.
Due to her contagion, she couldn’t go into the nursery at church, so for our Ash Wednesday service, her dad held her out in the lobby with one ear cocked toward the sanctuary to listen in. Sitting in the back pew, I could hear her chirping and squirming and dropping her toys, so I didn’t focus very well on the scripture passages of penitence and remorse.
And, like I may have mentioned, I was a wee bit grumpy. That may have distracted me a bit, too.
When I took my shift with the Bean, I decided to head home before the ashes were imposed. No need to remind me that I was dust and to dust I would return.
I already felt like dust.
It was only 6:30 and I was tired as I looked to the evening ahead.
J had to head over to campus at 7 to participate in a discussion about religion and science, I had to be back at the church for a meeting at 8, and J’s evening class on Wednesday nights begins (begins!) at 8:30 pm. They met at our house tonight.
I mean, they are meeting at our house right now.
It’s kind of tiring.
I want to be in bed falling asleep snuggled against my husband while he reads. (He is always reading.)
But I am not snuggled. I am sitting in bed alone with my laptop. And he is teaching bright young minds about vocation.
And so I am ending this day on a grumpy note.
But the good news is that today is Ash Wednesday.
Today we ask God to reveal to us our frailties and failings, our desperate need for his grace, and our absolute inability to fix this world by ourselves, even though we like to act like it.
So maybe I’ll ask God that.
Ash Wednesday marks the first day of our forty-day Lenten journey to Easter morning. (Forty-six days, actually. We say forty to be biblical, but we don't include Sundays in that count. Sundays are mini-Easters.) There are lots of great resources about Lent, if you're interested. The latest issue of Christian Reflection is a good read on the topic and can be downloaded in PDF format here. Be sure to check out this spectacular book review by yours truly. Also, Everyday Liturgy offers some good stuff on Lent, too.