Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2 Weeks to Ash Wednesday

Two weeks from today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  I have been thinking of how to best prepare for March 9th, mostly because I am scheduled to be taking my clinical skills Board exam in Chicago that day.  I am overwhelmed by the inconvenience and cost of having to travel to Chicago, take the test, leave my family.  It feels like so much unnecessary hassle....

I realize that is, coincidently, how I tend to approach Lent and Ash Wednesday as well.  So much inconvenience and personal cost (read: sacrifice) to observe the Lenten disciplines of fasting, giving, and repentance.  Isn't it really just unnecessary hassle?

The preparation that I am putting into accomplishing my clinical skills exam is not wasted energy, though it does feel like a hassle this week because I would rather think about other things.  When I finish the exam, I will have completed the last major hurdle of medical school before graduation.  The preparation and the process of the exam bring me closer to my goal.

Likewise, any preparation I put toward my Lenten disciplines, any commitment I make toward my Lenten observations should be directed toward a higher goal -- renewing and strengthening my relationship with God.  Far from being a hassle, it is among the greatest of opportunities!  And by preparing ahead of time for the season, perhaps I can make the most of each Lenten day and the opportunities that the traditions and observances provide.  So perhaps tomorrow, after I finalize the logistical plans for my March 9th trip to Chicago, I will turn my thoughts toward the other significance of March 9th and consider preparing for Lent.


Sarah Harkins said...

I am also thinking about about Lent and all the wonderful sacrificing I can do, and then I stop and think: oh yeah...why don't I just start now?? funny how we wait to do these things!

Anonymous said...

Dear B,

I love reading your blog, and am constantly amazed at how you find the time to write such centered, thoughtful messages. Keep shining your light and keep first things first. You are an inspiration and a blessing; a wonderful mom and you will be a wonderful doctor.
Love, Bette

Queen B said...

Bette and Sarah,

I am thankful for your encouragement today! May first things be first, not only during Lent or on special days, but every moment of everyday.


Sandi Benton Plasters said...

Thanks for your blog. I hope things went well for you in in Chicago as well as for the beginning of your Lenten journey. You may want to check out my blog Blessings on the Lenten adventure