Yesterday was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, a forty day period of prayer and fasting before Easter. It's my first time experiencing Lent in a liturgical church that commemorates this season. Last night we had a special Ash Wednesday service at church and it was really a very beautiful experience. As a reminder of our frailty and humanity, we were marked with ashes in the shape of the cross on our foreheads (hence Ash Wednesday). It was very powerful to hear "You come from dust and to dust you will return." It puts life into perspective a little. Our time here is fleeting and there is much more than the day-to-day routine and grind. It was very powerful.
I've decided to give up shopping to mark a "fast" for this season. It's not that I'm a shopaholic or anything, I just often find myself consumed by consumerism. I aimlessly peruse online stores when I'm bored, looking for things that I might want. I can sometimes be overwhelmed by what I need to purchase to stay in season and up to the trend. So for the next forty days, I've decided to set that aside and focus on other things. So here's to Lent.