Ashes to Ashes and Everything in Between

By: Ginger Hughes

The minister smeared the ashes across my forehead—one swipe down and one across forming a misshapen cross.  “From the dust God created you, and to the dust you shall return,” she whispered, looking into my eyes.

It’s the season of Lent—a time of reflection and a time of repentance.

And there it is, marked on my skin, and spoken into my ear, the beginning and the end.  It’s all so fragile, so mortal, so temporary.  But I can’t help but think of all the time in between the dust—the time between our creation and the day God calls us home.  There’s so much in between, isn’t there?

The in-between may be filled with school or careers.  For some, there are marriages and children.  There’s grocery shopping and getting gas, doctor’s appointments and errands.  There is sickness and health.  There are to-do lists and dreams to chase.  There are joys and sorrows.  There are laughter and tears.  There’s so much in the middle.  So much, in fact, that we often leave out the most important thing.  We leave out the One who created us and the One who will ultimately call us home.

From the dust we were created, but this begs the question—Why?

Why are we here?  Why are we here now?

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Think about this for a moment.  God had a purpose in mind when He created you.  You’re not happenstance.  You’re not here by chance.  You’re here because a loving God wants you here.  You’re here to love God and to point others to Him.  And you are here because God has prepared in advance good works He wants you to accomplish.

While the world tells us, it’s all about us, we must remember it’s all about Him.

While the world tells us to be happy, we must remember God’s calling is higher than our personal happiness.

While the world tells us to look inside ourselves to find our purpose, we must remember to look up and walk into the purpose God already has for us.

In this time of Lent, we remember Jesus’ life and ultimately His sacrifice.  We remember that we are the reason He went to the cross.  We remember our need for a Savior, and we remember our own mortality.  But in this time of in-between, let us also remember to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith.  Let’s remember to do the good works He has already established for us to do.  And may we always remember we are here for a reason and for a season—and may we live accordingly.

-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.

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