For me, exactly one moment in the entire church year awakens me to the urgent imperative of our Christian walk of faith. That moment comes when the pastor takes a muddy thumb and swipes it twice across my forehead with the words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Nothing else besides Ash Wednesday gives me that black-coffee slap-in-the-face of reality that aligns all my personal and professional priorities. I need to be reminded that I am mortal.
My mind regularly deceives me that I’ll be 25 forever (does yours?). But Ash Wednesday cattle prods me with the truth — I am more than twice 25. I think, “How is that even possible?” How quickly does our trickle of days join the rushing river of years that empties into the vast ocean of spent lifetimes.
Ash Wednesday reminds us there’s no time to lose; not a moment to waste. Now’s the time to love the Lord your God with everything you’ve got. Now’s the time to love your neighbor as yourself — even the neighbor you really can’t stand to be around.
Now’s the time to pray and read your Bible daily. Now’s the perfect moment to the person you always wanted to be. Today’s the day to spread the gospel, hug your children, kiss your lover and send flowers to your parents.
Remember, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Copyright © 2013, Rev. Robert Blezard
Photo © Tom Mc Nemar – Fotolia.com