Lent – Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, a day to reflect on our destiny to return to ashes – at least our physical manifestation. This Lent I want to do something different. As I’ve reflected on God’s immenseness, the Sacred One’s unlimited essense, I’ve come to realize that it is beyond words. I’ve read some short essays by Einstein, and can see a certain clarification of my own journey. From fear to morality to . . . what?

I think many struggle with their fear of the unknown, their fear of dying. It’s normal to want to be assured of where we are headed, to know our destination, as if we can plan our life like we plan a trip to see relatives. As we learn to trust and accept things as they are, we move toward a moral universe, toward a construct of right and wrong. But with that we still struggle. Only now it can be marked by depression at the way others are treated (or even ourselves), a thirst for vengeance, for justice, for making everything fair. For trying to get all we can. Our due.

And we look to one above, one we identify as father, or mother. One we consider all-powerful, creator of all things in the universe. And yet, even in this vast universe, we want that omnipotent parent to protect us, to hear us, and to respond.

If you’ve ever looked down at a city while flying overhead, at the tiny little lights of cars on ribbons of road, the feeling of insignificance can be stunning. And you wonder, “How many billions of people are asking for things? Millions?”

We keep trying to define God. Enter this Lent, if you have the courage, by considering God as undefinable. If the sacred one is truly beyond all understanding, what would you do if you accepted God as not a male or female, not made in our image, but as exceeding comprehension. What if you considered that God didn’t answer individual prayer, or that God didn’t annoint one nation over any other; one people over any other.

What if God is, as Jesus said, the I am. God just is.

This Lent, I will rest in silence, to become aware of the God who is. You may also download my Ash Wednesday reflection in pdf format here.

John