Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ash Wednesday

In addition to serving a congregation as pastor, I also teach school. I am pursuing a Master's degree in Special Education and certification. Along with being a husband and a father, I keep busy most days.

These various blessings seldom conflict with each other if I am careful in juggling them. Well...

My current certification class meets on Wednesdays from 7 until 9:30 pm. Because of this I was not able to conduct or attend our usual Ash Wednesday evening worship. I was very bummed about this.

On my way to class, feeling very discouraged, my right, front tire blew out. It didn't just go flat, it did so explosively. I managed to get the car off the four-lane without an accident or incident. There was nothing left of the tire but the side-walls and the rim of the wheel.

I changed the tire and arrived late to class. I reported my situation to my instructor and then excused myself to the restroom to wash my tire-blackened hands.

"Dust you are and to dust you will return."

Yes, standing at the sink of the men's room, Ash Wednesday's truth resonated in my spirit. While I did not have an ash-n-olive oil smudge on my hand or forehead, I was marked with my mortality and the cursed condition of the present age. Staring at the smudges of worn rubber that only partially washed off my hands, I knew a much deeper and profound frustration at the fallen state of existence than I would have experience in a congregational gathering. The things-keep-falling-apart evidence of man's impact on God's creation was junking up the trunk of my car. God met me there to begin my Lenten journey toward the Cross and Empty Tomb.

I am dust. That's my truth.

Yet in my flesh I shall see Him. That's my hope.