Treasure Hunt

Well, we’re rounding out Ash Wednesday.
The beginning of a holy season.
Now because my mom drug me to church I was a good Episcopalian growing up, we always celebrated Ash Wednesday.
I remember it was a solemn day of reflection and repentance.
The day you went to church, got the ashes of last year’s palms leaves “crossed” on your forehead and started your “40 day” fast of giving something up to prepare your heart for Easter.
As a kid, I remember giving up chocolate one year.
As a teenager, I gave up cussing.  (I had a pretty foul mouth…)**side note–Moms—I don’t recommend trying to teach your ‘prone to cuss teenager’ to drive a stick shift while she is premenstrual…it ends up badly for everyone.  Especially the poor lady she yells to “move your fat ass” in the BP parking lot.  Sorry, mom.  Thanks for sticking with me.
A young adult…TV was on the chopping block.
Grown woman…Facebook.
Now, all these things were great sacrifices.
I’m certain there was wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth as I counted down the days until Easter when I could finally eat chocolate or log back on to Facebook or cuss.
I feel like I kinda missed the point, doncha think?

As an adult, now can I look back and think about the ashes.
I realized just today, that the only way to get ashes is for something to be destroyed.
Something had to die in order for the ashes to come about and put a cross on my forehead.
The palm leaves had to be plucked, waved, and then burnt.
Now while Christ’s body wasn’t burned and there were no ashes to be had, His sacrifice was the ultimate.
No more bulls, goats, or lambs are needed.
He came to cleanse all.
And I’m thinking my sacrifice of no Diet Mountain Dew is big.
Sheesh.
But whether it’s the ashes on our forehead or the blood stained cross at Calvary, it’s as if Christ is saying, “x” marks the spot.
He is saying, “Here is the treasure.  Here is my treasure.  This gal, right here.  She cusses.  She is on Facebook too much.  She eats waaaayyy too much chocolate.
But she.
She is why I died.”

So this Easter season, the cross won’t be lost on me.
I won’t get wrapped up in the outfits, the Easter baskets, the Pinterest projects.
Instead, I’m giving up my self for Lent.
I’m getting out of the way so He can be glorified, however or whatever that entails.
I’ll take my repentant heart and everyday offer it to the One set me as a seal upon His arm.
I’ll take my repentant heart and hour by hour thank Him.
I’ll take my repentant heart and allow Him to change me, so He can use me.
So I can show others that HE is the treasure.
That His cross, His “X,” marks the spot.
Ash-Wednesday

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