On Ash Wednesday, we remember our impermanence. Ashes are imposed on our foreheads, both as a reminder of our mortality and a sign of penitence, as our priest (or pastor) says, “remember you are dust and to dust you will return.”
It’s always a somber – but beautiful – service.
And all good Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, and some Baptists usually decide what they will fast from for the Lenten season from Ash Wednesday until Easter.
I was giving it some serious thought myself when something came into my mind and wouldn’t leave.
It’s been a few years since I’ve written about this but I’ve always loved the idea that we ARE dust, 93% STARDUST to be exact, such an astounding and beautiful thought:
For some reason, this really stood out to me as I was pondering Ash Wednesday and what to fast this season.
Fasting something was proving to be a difficult thing for me this year. Not that there was nothing I could have fasted; there was plenty. It’s just that I am a Celiac (so no gluten) who is also allergic to coffee, soy, oats, and eggs. Yep. So “giving up” a food just feels like another dietary restriction to me in a way. And I didn’t want to do that.
So then I began considering adding things – prayers, devotionals, that kind of thing. And that is never a bad idea. And all of this kind of came together I suppose. . .
See, I’ve been greatly troubled by all of the environmental reports recently and I’ve had it in my mind to make several changes in my little corner. I’ve already had our stainless steel and glass straws so we can stop using plastic straws (they are terrible for ocean life if you haven’t seen), I had already planned to clean out things we don’t use, donate, and reduce our consumption of new items (and have been slowly working on it – but needed to step up my game), and I had slowly been working on going plant based – but I needed to just jump.
And I firmly believe we have a God-given responsibility to care for the Earth, both for ourselves and for those coming after us. And it is now urgent.
So I decided that this Lenten season, rather than “giving up” something, I would focus on some “higher purpose” goals. Stardust projects.
First, I did make the full plant based switch:
And my daughter and I will be doing our clean out throughout Lent and working towards pairing down.
We are already thrifters and consignment shoppers, but I’m going to share the Buyerarchy of Needs again – because I’m working on it too:
I’ll also be learning more about reducing plastics. The day after I made that decision, I saw this article about giving up plastic, instead of chocolate, for Lent. A total God thing:
The best thing to give up this Lent is plastic, not chocolate
Finally, I’m going to try my best to publish at least every other day, and to share information here and on my Facebook and Instagram as I learn it, to be of service.
After I decided to do these things – of course, they are permanent changes, we are just starting during Lent – so many things have come my way that have let me know it was meant to be.
On Thursday morning, my friend Patrick posted this from his Ash Wednesday service, where they too are thinking about all the beautiful big picture Stardust ways we can make the world better this Lenten season:
Be well, everybody. Shine a light. ❤
Grace and Blessings.