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26/02/2020
'Ash Wednesday'
  Ash Wednesday and our journey through Lent begins today  
 
A bowl of Ashes is placed over a calendar reminding us that Ash Wednesday begins today Feb 26th. 'Getting the Ashes' is hugely popular today and marks the beginning of our journey through Lent.
Thought For Today

Thought For The Week

'Every moment of life is different from the last and yet every moment is entwined with what came before it. What will succeed it, whether we can perceive it or not; is that every moment counts because we can contribute to how that moment will be.' ~Niamh Brennan

The ghost ship 'MV Alta' made lots of headlines last week. For over 18 months it floated abandoned and unmanned across the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed through major shipping lanes but didn't seem to be bothering anybody. Then a week ago Storm Dennis pushed it right up through the Atlantic until it crashed onto rocks near Ballycotton. It is a story that became viral featuring on nearly every news bulletin across the world.

It's original journey with crew, had been from Greece to Haiti but the crew had to abandon the ship because of another storm. So from mid-Atlantic it drifted south towards South America, then east towards Africa and then straight up west of Spain, Portugal and France until it crashed into Ireland from the force of Storm Dennis.

In that time it has travelled and drifted thousands of nautical miles. It must have been tossed and thrown around through many storms. It must have drifted silently too in sometimes occasional still waters. But all the while it was moving in some direction. There is much debate as to what will happen to the ship now.

Today Ash Wednesday ,when it is put beside the ship has a spiritual message too. We sometimes drift aimlessly through life as well. We tend to be busy and fill up our days with lots of stuff. But we are so busy that sometimes there is no time for the really important things in life. We are all over the place, without direction, without an anchor, without grounding and it can feel as if life has no meaning and that everything is seemingly random.

But as believers from a faith background we know that life is more than random. We believe that God is the one who brings us meaning, direction and hope. With a belief in God we can feel a definite sense of purpose to life. Whatever direction life takes us, we feel encouraged, energised and ready to face each day as best we can. Lent is a lovely opportunity to stop the drift, to put the anchor down, to reflect on our life and see what positive change could help us feel more connected and grounded in life.

All the spiritual writers would say that this will not happen unless we give it some consideration and reflection. One day or two days is never enough. But the full journey of Lent is so full of opportunity, reflection and surprise. It is also a unique opportunity to make the most of the present moment, God's very special gift to each of us.

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