Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Kaitlin: And We're Off

From Kaitlin Torgerson, Earth Ministry Outreach Coordinator:

Today, it all begins. After an evening of ice cream and a long shower, I woke up today with a sense of darkness that was more than the dreary Seattle weather outside. I knew that today, I had to completely change my mindset.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been gearing up for my Lenten practices. Several days ago, my roommates and I installed a low-flow shower head. Since my housemates and I are part of a volunteer program that pays a small stipend, we knew we had to be a little creative in doing this. Thankfully, we were able to obtain a free shower head from Seattle City Light, who give out one free shower head to each customer. Even though our previous one actually was low-flow, it had been leaking and was no longer doing the job of saving water. This small, easy change could save over 14,000 gallons of water a year.

However, this is just the start for me this Lent. I avoided the shower entirely this morning (I showered enough yesterday) and dread tomorrow when I don’t get my long, morning shower. I need to shake the fear and understand why I’m doing this.

Tonight, I will go to church and be marked with a cross of ashes on my forehead. The words, “From dust you have come and to dust you shall return” will be said over me. This will be the change in mindset I need to enter Lent—a cross to echo my baptism in Christ and ash to remind me of my own mortality, but everlasting life through Christ. It is the centering I will need to recognize my destructive ways.

We are part of this journey together, united in faith. What will the cross and ashes mean to you? Are you adding something new into your life? Or are you giving up something to find more time for prayer and reflection? Tell us about your Lent this year by using the comment feature on our blog and take the opportunity to reflect on this practice together.

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