Today is Ash Wednesday. That means a lot of different things to different people. Some are recovering from yesterday’s Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras celebration. Others are introspective about their faith and their communication with the Lord. Others don’t have an opinion.
I’m back and forth about religion. I am a Christian, but I don’t always enjoy organized religious events. This morning I went to Chapel with good friends Betsy and Hannah, where Father Charlie Brown (from a local Catholic Church) gave the message about Ash Wednesday.
He reminded all to introspectively evaluate what each of us is blessed with, and how we can use those blessings to benefit others. How can we be as generous to others as God has been and is to us?
During my time of Lent, instead of fasting, or giving up sweets or TV, I’m going to make a concerted effort to START something new. I want to listen to my self, to God, to hear how he is speaking to me, because often it’s hard to hear him. I want these next weeks to be about listening more, about living my life positively and focusing on how I can bless others with my blessings.
On my way back to Hope from Winter Break, my passenger conveyed she had wanted to go to a public school. Having gone to private school all her life, she was interested whether she could continue to test out and apply her spiritual life to the “real world” without a constant reminder of her faith. Though Hope is defined as a Christian college, you can easily avoid all religion while here. Sure, most of the students and professors you talk to and interact with are Christians, but that doesn’t mean you have to be, or participate as one. However, if you DO want to be the Christian you’ve been training for, and develop your faith, Hope has a million and seventeen ways to do that and help you in any way you desire.
So join me. Take the leap. Use your life to benefit others, whether you believe in a higher being or not. Make the pledge to assist others, to lend a hand, and to lead by example.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need,
yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.