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Lenten Devotional – Day 1 – Ash Wednesday

Ash WednesdayI angled my #2 pencil in my hand then dramatically swiped its tip across the cafeteria table in front of me leaving an impression on both my young friend’s mind and mine.  “This line represents time, eternity,” I stated from my side of the booth in the student union at Montana State University.  Her eyes looked back at me with understanding.

Once again I poised my pencil on the table, this time I drew a small “x” on the line I had just stretched on the tabletop.  “This x represents your life,” I said.  Her eyes grew wide in awe.  Sitting back in the booth, I watched her mind work internally for a moment.  “Woah,” was her simple reply.

My heart felt the same.  “Woah,” is right.  The picture on the table between my friend and I led to a wonderful discussion on which part of the story we were living for.  

It was good to put our lives in perspective – to remember the brevity of life. In a second, our perspectives shifted.  Once again I was reminded that my life is not my own.

Too often I forget that my life fits inside the much bigger storyline of God’s story.  I live for today.  I make decisions, spend my money and whittle away my time as if the “x” is all there is to life.  

But every now and then I get uncomfortable and my life feels too small.  I believe that is God’s spirit prompting me to regain perspective.  It starts with a small thought, There must be more.  

Then I remember the dramatic storyline drawn across a lunch table in Bozeman, Montana.  That’s when I remember the truth of Psalm 103:13-19:

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those whom keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.  The Lord has established his throne in heaven and his kingdom rules over all.

Who’s storyline are you living for?  Are you living in light of the eternal storyline of Heaven or are you focused in on the “x” of today?  

Will you ask the Holy Spirit to soften your heart and open your eyes to see His great plan for your life?

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