So, some of you may have seen that I reworked my old website in order to combine my blog and website into the same place. I had been dreading it, but the looming deadline of having to pay for another year with my previous host finally pushed me over the edge. And you know what? It turned out to be fun.
Well, there were a few technical issues the first two hours, with my computer kicking me off the internet every few minutes. But with drivers updated and that problem solved, everything else with the transfer went rather smoothly.
When I started my spiritual direction practice in 2015 and first created my website, I had some ideas that didn’t pan out. They were deleted. And I had made some new additions to my mission, like being broader than only Christian spiritual direction. So I tried to add those things in.
But a lot of things stayed the same. I asked my patient husband to track down the pictures that I originally used. And as we sat on the couch together, exploring, I also found some new ones that I just had to incorporate. Finally I took as much time as possible to play. Did you know there are widgets for just about anything you want to do on a website? When I set up my site in 2015, I didn’t even know what a widget was.
Today in my faith tradition is Ash Wednesday, the traditional beginning of Lent, a time of preparation before Easter. This whole 40-day season of Lent is generally thought to be a rather somber time, and Ash Wednesday is one of the most somber days. In Christian churches throughout the world, priests and pastors are smudging foreheads with ashes in the sign of the cross, reminding us, “From dust you were made and to dust you shall return.” It is a reminder of our death and an urgent plea to focus on what is most important in our lives.
But I am not feeling somber this year. In fact, Lent has always been one of my favorite times of year and this year I seem to only approach it with a sense of peace and joy. “God is giving us another chance,” those ashes scream from foreheads. We didn’t get it all right the first time, but in the immortal words of Monty Python, “We’re not dead yet.”
This time of preparation before Easter is a time to recognize our sin and ask for forgiveness, which rather than being depressing is a big part of the good news we find as Christians in Jesus Christ. It’s a time to listen for new ways that we are being called to service with the Divine. It is time, this year for me anyway, to play with the widgets of my life and really see what might be possible.
I won’t get to attend my husband’s Ash Wednesday service this evening. I am taking my son to his first rehearsal for Peter Pan at the local children’s theater. Because we’re in a play together. Through Lent, on through Easter and beyond into May, we’re both trying something new. If you follow this blog, you’re likely to hear a whole lot more about it. But for now, we’re just going to celebrate that we’re not dead yet.
Is there something you are dreading doing, but you know you’ll have to get to it eventually? What kind of deadlines will push you to finally do it? Have you ever started something you dreaded only to discover that it was actually fun? Do you celebrate Ash Wednesday or does your faith tradition have another day when you are reminded of your death and priorities for life? Is this an important part of your faith journey? If you could try anything new in the next few months, what might it be?