The Scripture ~ God said, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.”
The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:19 NRSV
The Spiritual Focus ~ “All we are is dust in the wind.” ~ Kansas
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ I am dust, Exhale ~ God is the Wind
The Devotion ~ This week we begin the liturgical season of Lent. Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, is the day before Ash Wednesday and is traditionally a day of celebrating our desire for the “sweet” life. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday when we are reminded that this life as well as our bodies are our temporary home. Over the course of the 40 days of Lent, people adopt spiritual practices that are intended to refocus us on our relationship with God, peeling away those things that distract us from that relationship. Neither Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday nor Lent are biblical, but include faith practices that are intended to encourage us in our journey into deeper relationship with God.
Lenten faith practices vary from giving up something like sweets, to adding something like more prayer, or meditation—sometimes doing both, sometimes doing neither. Whatever we decide, the intention of Lenten spiritual practices is to put aside distractions in order to journey with God. Ash Wednesday prepares us for our journey with God by reminding us God is God and we are not. We are reminded of our mortality and as post-resurrection Christians, we pause in gratitude for God’s promise to journey with us.
Authors of the Yoga Sutras, ancient sacred texts of yoga, address spiritual practices as “finding the middle road”. They describe choosing a spiritual practice that does not become the focus but rather supports the intention to set aside distractions and return to God. Finding a spiritual practice that guides your journey with God can be challenging. Luckily there are many practices to choose from. One practice used in spiritual direction is to re-write scripture, well-known prayers or even creeds in your own words. Another option is to re-write lyrics from songs that speak to you or make a connection between you and God. “Dust in the Wind”by Kansasis one song that has been used in the contemporary spiritual practice of re-writing lyrics. Whatever spiritual practices we adopt during Lent, acknowledging our mortality turns us back to God, and the experience of God’s Presence.