Stranger Things have happened on Ash Wednesday
Yesterday wasn't the strangest Ash Wednesday, but it was certainly up there. Twenty-five years ago—Ash Wednesday 1996—Eric got down on one knee, with cross on forehead, and proposed. So it's always been an odd mix of a holy day: remembering that we are dust and to dust we shall return, on the one hand, and celebrating the birth of a marriage, on the other.
But yesterday we did't even get to the ashes part. The church was closed as we continue to soldier through SNOVID-21. A winter storm, in the middle of a pandemic, that's brought Texas to its knees.
At home, we fasted. The morning devotions were done by candlelight, during one of the many forced outages we're coming to expect throughout the day.
I read two short books on fasting this year: How To Fast Successfully by Derek Prince and The Fast: Rediscovering Jesus' Pathway to Power by Lou Engle. Here are some of the best quotes if you're looking for motivation to fast this Lenten season:
"Adam was tempted with a full stomach in paradise, yet failed. Jesus was tempted in the desert while ravenously hungry, yet succeeded." Lou Engle
"Fasting is a tremendous lesson in establishing who the master and who the servant are. Remember your body is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master." Derek Prince
"Fasting begets prophets and strengthens strong men. Fasting makes lawgivers wise; it is the soul's safe guard, the body's trusted comrade, the army of the champion, the training of the athlete." Basil, Bishop of Caesarea
Through fasting, I pray the Lord grants me the wisdom of Job: "I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:12).