“Yet even now, says the Lord, repent and return to me with all your heart” Joel 2:13
Today is Ash Wednesday, the day the Church takes its first steps into the Lenten season, a journey toward deeper devotion to God. This journey calls us to stop whatever it is we’re doing that is distracting us from growing in our love for God so that we can enter more intentionally into the disciplines of prayer, self-examination and repentance. But these disciplines – as significant as they are in themselves – are not ends in themselves. They are a means to an end and that end is that I would return to God with all my heart.
This day has often been reduced to the question: “What am I giving up for Lent?” This is a good question, but it can only take us so far. The real question for today is: “How will I find ways to return to God with all my heart?” And this leads to an even deeper question: “Where in my life have I grown away from God and what are the practices and decisions that will help me find my way back to him?”
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart. These are such intimate, vulnerable and compassionate words spoken by the King of the Universe to me - not only on this day - but on every day.
What could keep me from him?