We are well into the Lenten season, which began on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before the Easter Triduum begins ( Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday ). Lent begins with a reminder of ashes etched on our foreheads, which reminds us that we are here for a finite period of time. We will come to an end one day. We will cease to exist. It is on that day that we will reap the rewards of our lives here on earth. With that in mind, the ashes remind us that we must keep our eye and focus, not on this life, but on our eternal life.
Does that mean that we are not to be successful? Does that mean that we should not have wealth? Does that mean that we should not amass personal possessions such as homes, cars, or boats? The answer to those questions are a resounding NO--with a caveat. The caveat is just as long as these activities do not become the main focus and importance in your life! When lop-sided ambition, money, possessions and activities such as vacations become the most important thing to you, then they become your idols. They replace God in your life. Keep your focus on working on your eternal life!
Another thing about Lent is the annual, "What am I going to sacrifice for Lent?" For many of us it's giving up chocolate, candy, beer, or ice cream. That seems to work for many of us, but in contrast to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus gave, His Life, don't you think giving up those things pales in comparison? That may work fine for children, and we ARE children of God, but ADULT children of God, just as you have adult daughters and sons. I believe God is calling us to a higher way of responding to our faith. How about sacrificing your time? Time is precious in our lives, but what if sacrificed our time to help out in a soup kitchen, volunteer at a nursing home or orphanage, or any one of hundreds of volunteer opportunities presented by your local township or city? Why not buy a meal for a homeless person? Someone whom you know could never return the favor? Surely you'd be storing up treasures in heaven.
We really don't get it. Honestly. Sincerely. Truth be told, we are not here for US, we are here for others. More specifically, we are here for each other. We are not here to go it alone in life. We are to be helpful and supportive to our neighbor--ANYONE in need. We weren't created to live life alone, but with others. We miss the boat on this very fundamental principal of Christian teaching. Love your neighbor.