It's Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and tonight I have a restless longing that I don't really understand. I took a walk this afternoon along one of my favorite paths, and the birds were singing all around me; it felt and looked so much like Spring. The branches on the trees were beginning to swell with the life within them, and I could feel the sun's warmth on my skin. But it's February, after all, and the cold weather is coming back in just a few days. It doesn't seem like Winter, but it's not yet Spring. And suddenly I want to be somewhere else, to run away from this uneasiness which seems to be stalking me tonight. Why do I feel this way? What is at the heart of this? So many questions crowd my mind.
But I think I'm beginning to understand. It is the time between seasons, and my life is at that place between seasons. I am enduring the long, cold Winter, with all of its shadows and uncertainty, as a bud hidden inside the rose ; and I am longing for the warmth of sunlight so that I can blossom once again. The seasons are overlapping, and time seems unbalanced somehow because of it. It is an awkward and unsettling place in which to be; and there are so many unanswered questions. But I know what I must do. It's the first day of Lent and, thanks be to God, I have something to offer to Him who makes all things new: myself. This is the time of ashes, but not so very many days from now these gray ashes will give place to the white lilies of Easter Sunday. I see now through clouded glass, but soon I will see clearly. There is everything good ahead of me; I must be patient. "All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven." There will be answers in God's time; and His timing is perfect.