Shine this Lenten Season

Do you remember that song by the band, Queen, Another One Bites the Dust?

Another one down,

another one down,

another one bites the dust…

another one bites the dust.

 YEAH! 

It doesn’t really have a YEAH in it, but I think that was just an oversight by the band because clearly the cadence of the words dictate a YEAH at the end.

The song reminds me of going to the skating rink and skating backwards by the pulse of the strobe light.

I am kidding about skating backwards.  I was never that coordinated.  Maybe I fell down once, got up facing the wrong direction and for a millisecond looked like a kid from the eighties who could effortlessly glide backwards.

But that was just a millisecond.

Mostly, I wobbled forward making sure the wall was within arms length.

Anyway, today I was thinking how when we receive ashes as part of the solemn start of Lent, known as Ash Wednesday, we are reminded that we will return to dust.

It’s a rather unpleasant thought really.

If you think about it, turning as obsolete as dust runs counter to most everything we do in our daily lives. Mostly because so much of what we focus on is physical or tangible – appearances, finances, and status; when we return to a small speck of dust it won’t really matter what car we drove, what new restaurant we tried, where we vacationed, what we did for a living or any of those other things that consume our time on earth while we exist in ways far more dynamic than dust particles.

It makes me think about my children and all the time I invest to ensure they have straight teeth, straight A’s, play an instrument and sports, all while keeping their hair above the collar and their shirt tucked in.

I even keep a small amount of groceries in the car because we are on the road so much driving from appointments to practices to games to lessons, all so they can be so much grander than dust.

But what does it all matter when ultimately, like mine, that is their fate?

The truth is, I don’t really know.

All I know is that I am here for now and thankfully they are too.  I don’t know how much time any of us have, but I do know I want to use it to be the best version of myself.  I want the same for my boys.

I guess the whole dust thing reminds me of the evolution versus creation theory.  To me, it doesn’t really matter whose right.  What matters is that I am here now.  It doesn’t matter, at least to me, how that came to be or even that someday I will be dust.

I am here now, taking up space. One day I won’t be.

Because of my faith, I believe I will live on despite the inevitable disappearance of my mortality.  And, it probably won’t matter that I couldn’t remember the exact words to a song or that I could never rollerskate backwards.

But I am betting it will matter that I lived and loved in the name of God.  That I took opportunities like Lent to grow in my faith, to sacrifice not for the sake of self-deprivation but so others may feel the light of God through my kind deeds.

That light is from Him, it will remain long after I am dust – pulsing and powerful and with a steady beat that makes it almost impossible to think that our time on earth doesn’t really matter.

So, let your light shine this Lenten season in the good deeds that you do, the sacrifices you make and the solitude that you spend in prayer.

All of that glorious light makes me think of another song.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. 

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

YEAH!

Please share what you are doing this Lenten Season to let His light shine in you.  I love to hear all of the creative things people do to draw themselves closer to God and to show their love for Him by sharing it with others.  

I am giving up meat for Lent.  So while everyone else is dropping pounds by giving up sweets, I will be adding them with all the carbs!

I am also going to write down three things a day that I am thankful for since gratitude is something I feel like I need to cultivate in my life so I can better appreciate the good and perfect gifts He has given me.  

In addition to that, I am going to try and post more often during Lent.  Since my year of doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy ended, I have not been committed to writing on this site.  I miss taking the time to reflect that it affords and I miss the insight that you generously share in your comments.  So that’s part of my Lenten plan.

I look forward to hearing yours.  

Shine on.

9 thoughts on “Shine this Lenten Season

  • March 6, 2014 at 11:24 am
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    I thought about giving up half and half, but who am I kidding??
    I like to try to DO something, and, as weak as this may sound, I am going to try to be nice. To my family. How often am I short with my husband, then super sweet to the Publix cashier? Or nicer to someone else’s child than my own?? I am going to try to be kind, be patient, and take the time share the love! And also constantly remember this season of sacrifice..

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  • March 6, 2014 at 8:46 am
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    I Love your message! Bill D.

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  • March 6, 2014 at 8:46 am
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    I am giving up the typical – cake, cookies, icecream, candy and the like. But this year I think it will be very different. I think I will keep my word and not cheat – check up on me please! This is a hard one for me (sweets – especially cookies) – but I have been praying more and reflecting more and i really want to demonstrate to God how grateful I am. Oh – and I CAN skate backwards!! Wanta meet at the roller rink? I have coupons!

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    • March 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm
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      LOL! Helena — Sweets are always difficult to give up. Even at mass today the priest said he could give up anything but chocolate. It was cute. He also talked about how the reason we give up things for Lent is so that we have more room to fill up on God. So I think you are on the right track by replacing sweets with prayer. As for the skating, I am truly impressed! I still have not decided about taking you up on the skating rink, but the coupon definitly sweetens the deal!

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  • March 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm
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    Dear Lara:

    While I understand, in the main, where your heart is with this, I do feel compelled to comment on this statement in your blog:
    I guess the whole dust thing reminds me of the evolution versus creation theory. To me, it doesn’t really matter whose right. What matters is that I am here now. It doesn’t matter, at least to me, how that came to be or even that someday I will be dust.

    For me, it does matter who is right when it comes to creation vs evolution, because…at the end of the Day…when I am standing — or kneeling — before my God, I know that it is the Creator, the Redeemer and the Counselor…not Charles Darwin…that I will bow before and acknowledge as Lord and Savior.

    I do like that you say: But I am betting it will matter that I lived and loved in the name of God. That will represent the “dash” on your tombstone…that is, what you did with your life between birth and death. From what I’ve seen so far, you are struggling like the rest of us and giving God glory in all your struggle. May He bless you and keep you each and every day!

    Kate

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    • March 5, 2014 at 11:47 pm
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      Kate,

      You are right. It does matter that God is the creator. I did not mean to imply that it doesn’t and I should have written that more clearly.

      It’s the point that we shouldn’t be arguing – we are here. We need to be doing good with our lives, so that someday we will be with Him. So, yes – the dash on your tombstone is significant in what becomes of the dust of our mortality. (I love how you worded that, btw!)

      Thank you for pointing out my error so I could clarify that indeed I believe in Him as the sole originator of all life.

      I so appreciate your sweet blessing! We should definitely give God the glory in our struggles – there is a song about that too!

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      • March 6, 2014 at 8:00 am
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        I was thinking exactly the same thing Kate was. Because as Christians we must stand up for what we believe which is that God is our creator!! I know where you heart is though 😉

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        • March 6, 2014 at 8:45 am
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          Thank you, Ashley. Yes, the heart is in the right place – the sentence is in the wrong place! I really did mean it terms of the arguing — not to detract from all that God has created. I meant it to focus on our time here but absolutely that is entwined with how we got it here. So much so, that we need to focus on living God-centric lives and yes, that includes standing up for our Creator.

          Reply

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