I totally did not feel ready for it. Like my colleague Jim admitted in his sermon at noon today, Ash Wednesday has a tendency to sneak up on us. When others are revealing their inspirational, extensive, and completely serious plans for what they are going to give up and add to their lives, I haven't really given it that much thought. Our lives here are so new still and we are just beginning to feel settled in a lot of ways, but I suppose we have still fallen into old ruts. One new rut that I have fallen into, partly due to the part-time nature of my call and partly due to laziness, I have been very lax on getting up at a regular time (that is before 8 AM). That's something that I want to change, even though I REALLY like sleeping. Maybe the "excuse" of having Lent can help me with that.
This morning though, I got up early for a different reason - some dear friends from internship stayed at our place last night, and we took them out to breakfast before they had to go to the airport. What a blessing!
I guess I don't have anything extremely profound to say about Lent. Maybe I can make it a time of forging some good habits in this still-very-new call, like getting back in the habit of reading Daily Texts. On internship, when we were "full time" interns, it seemed so easy to just start my morning that way, in the quiet of my office. It's like it created the time and space for me. Now I have to figure out how to do that on my own.
Tomorrow I will be leading a Bible study with the youth group about Psalm 51 ("Create in me a clean heart, O God...). I've made it multi-sensory and multi media by including a game, some well-written Christian music, and an art project. I'm excited - we'll see if they are too!