‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ (Romans 12:2)
The first day of Lent is known in many traditions as Ash Wednesday. Ash is the aftermath of fire – the remnant of a burning away.
Part of the spiritual journey is learning to let go; it is to subtract whatever the world has put upon us to make more room for God’s abundance. So, to begin Lent, let us reflect upon some of the things it might be time to burn away from our lives:
- Negative beliefs about ourselves. For example, ‘I’m not enough’. You are more than enough for Christ.
- Bitterness and unforgiveness. The only person it’s hurting is you.
- Whatever the ‘thing’ is that you’re waiting for to complete you. ‘If only I had that job/that house/that person etc.’ It won’t complete you; you are already complete.
- Material possessions. These can be anchors that weigh us down. It is liberating when we realise that all things belong to God.
- Self-centredness. There is a desperate need for society to move from ‘me’ to ‘we’; from ‘I’ to ‘all of us’.
Write down a list of some of the things that you want to subtract from your life this Lent. Commit your list to God.
Gideon writes for Tearfund and is a poet and environmentalist.