"How will I find ways to return to God with all my heart?" Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, the period of preparation for our remembrance of Christ's death and celebration of his resurrection on Easter. The question above is what Ruth Haley Barton says is the real question of Lent, rather than a surface-level, "What did you give up?"
I've found that the more fully we can enter into traditional Christian practices such as observing Lent, and do so with their context and meaning in mind, the richer times they are for all of us. Ruth does a great job of setting the stage for us in her post today, "Lent: An Invitation to Return to God." Lent will be off to a solid start for anyone who can read and reflect on what she says there, and hopefully also participate in an Ash Wednesday observance somewhere today.
And by the way, if you're giving up something for Lent, good. Do it in the frame of mind described by Ruth in her article. Do not take the approach one of my friends took several years ago of doing something that actually ends up being harmful to those around you: my friend gave up breath mints! Please, for the love of God and all of the rest of us, find an option that reconnects you to God and also keeps your breath fresh.
To read Ruth's post, click the link above or go here.