Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Don't worry, this post isn't a list of things you should give up for Lent. I have a hard enough time determining what I should give up for Lent, let alone making suggestions for you, too. And anyway, it's Ash Wednesday - hopefully you've figured all of that out by now. (If not, no judgement...we've all been there.)

My sincerest apologies to Blogdom for my long absence. Consistency isn't my greatest attribute, it's true; but hey, I'm working on it.

I have several posts on my dashboard that I've started and want to finish, but today I crashed my car into a fence. And since this blog is where I reflect on my life and God's presence in it, it seemed like an appropriate decision to put the other posts on hold in order to tell you the story of my ridiculously and unintentionally penitential start to Lent.

This morning I woke up and was on a Lenten roll. I successfully did not hit my snooze button, [consequently] had time to pray, remembered to fast, wrote a couple things on my gratitude board, AND got out the door on time. What! I hit a slight snag when I walked outside and saw that it was snowing freaking again again and I had to brush off my car, but I joked about it and went on my merry way. I was the freaking boss of Ash Wednesday so far.

Well, about 5 minutes into my drive, I hit a patch of snow on the ground and lost control of my car. First, my car swerved into the next lane and I almost collided head-on with an oncoming car. I guess I turned my wheel to compensate (? I don't really know what happened... it was all, "Jesus take the wheel!" up in there), and then I was spinning and all I could see was snow. The only thing I remember is yelling out, "Jesus please help me!" and then my car eventually slid to a stop right into a fence and right before a bunch of trees. I think I also hit a sign at some point.

After a couple seconds of shock, I realized that I had very narrowly missed ending up with the fence in my driver's side door. (I also realized that the fence was the fence around the cemetery where my grandmother is buried. It's been awhile since I've come there to pray, but I'm thinking there MUST be easier ways for her to get my attention.)

After calling my parents & all the necessary people (and taking a little bit of time to pray with my grandma, as long as I was unexpectedly there), eventually my parents and a nice man with a pick up helped dig and push me out.

I'm fine. My car is also fine, aside from being decently scratched up. My rockstar Guardian Angel deserves overtime pay, and I certainly feel like I was protected from what could have been a far greater catastrophe, for which I am super grateful. This was definitely not the penance I had in mind this morning to start off Lent, but all in all, aside from being traumatizing for me (I think my heart is still beating higher than normal), it really wasn't that big of a deal.

But nothing puts things into perspective like feeling as though you've narrowly been preserved from death, and my introvert-self has been reflecting on that today.

Sure, I was definitely beasting-it at Ash Wednesday and my Lent was off to a great start, but the more important thing is, to what end? If it's not to make space for Christ, then I'm wasting my time. It would be better, I think, for me to try to be faithful to even one little thing for the sake of growing closer to Christ, and even to fail at that, than to be trying and succeeding at many sacrifices this Lent but only for the sake of proving to myself how self-disciplined I am.

Listen, this isn't #trueconfessions; I'm not necessarily saying that I was focused on myself this morning. But I am saying that I feel like that's probably not a bad question for me and my conscience to deliberate every evening. Because after my over-dramatic self saw my life flash before my eyes for a brief couple of moments this morning, the phrase "remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return" made some very poignant sense to me as I got my ashes today.

The desire of my best-self is to be a saint. Most of the time, that desire pretty much remains just a desire, and though it hopefully influences my actions, I don't go to super great lengths to accomplish it. There are other desires I tend to pursue a little more actively, and sanctity begins to lose pride of place; it's just the human condition, you know? But the Church has given me 6 whole painful torturous beautiful weeks to play that particular desire out in concrete action, beginning with reminding me that I have an expiration date - and eventually my status as saint or not-saint will be a reality.

"Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God."
"Now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation."

Happy Lent, peeps. #ashtag

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