Millions of people around the world spanning a multitude of cultures will tomorrow take the symbol of the ash and begin what is known to the English speaking world as The Season of Lent.
The English translation of the word actually derives from an Old English word meaning Spring yet in almost all other languages around the globe, the season is referred to by a derivative of the Latin term Quadragesima, or "the forty days." (reference)
Although many of the denominations and cultures who will be celebrating this Lenten Season do not agree on how Lent should be observed, most all agree on the heart of the season. Lent is a time to open your eyes to sin, repent and abstain. It is a time to reflect on the state of our heart and ask God to be our sole satisfaction. It is a time to commemorate our Savior's discipline and devotion to The Father. It is to be forty days of discipline and devotion.
I read a couple articles that stated that forty days historically was representative of preparation. I love this thought. Preparation for the moment in time that changed everything. Christ Death, Burial and Resurrection. Sin being Conquered. Death loosing its sting. Victory. Rescue. Relief.
I must say that I don't yearly fast from anything in particular unless I feel so led by the Spirit. But I do use this time of Lent to refocus my heart. To ask the Lord to open my eyes to sin, to show me where my heart has given over its affections to another and if this results in a fasting of sorts, amen and if not, amen.
I pray your Lenten Season is so sweet as your affections are turned back to Christ. I pray you taste and see that the Lord is good and find that He alone satisfies.
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
yes and amen