No, I'm not an "it is well with my soul" type. I know that God has a plan and a purpose, but the simple fact of the matter is that there's only one reason I'll get for having to watch Ollie suffer and ultimately lose what seems to be a senseless battle. It's the same answer to all of the pain, suffering, struggle, sacrifice, and crap in the world.
And that answer is really three words: because I live.
Yes, that's it. As long as we live, breathe, and walk this Earth, we will see all the extremes that the natural order of chaos brings to this world. We will struggle. We will suffer. We will cry and weep and mourn, and then we will rise and find the mountaintop again. Today we remember that we are ash and to ash we will return. And yet, for the first time since Ollie passed last week, I heard that voice in my head. The one that won't let me quit. The one that won't let me despair for too long before I snap back to my senses and am brought back to life. The one that said yes, someday we all die but, as they say in Game of Thrones, what do we say to death? "Not today." And as long as it's not today, then this is still our world, we still have a purpose, and we still have an obligation to all God created us to be to get out there and live life to the fullest.
Yes, I've struggled with a lot of things recently. No, I don't understand those struggles. I don't see how any good could come from it. But with the Imposition of Ashes, I realized: I'm still standing. I'm standing in the power of the Holy Spirit. And with that, I can do anything. So why be somber? Why dwell on death? No, I'm not perfect. I know I don't deserve what Christ did to save me. But I can have joy in my gratitude for it, and I can demonstrate that gratitude by living the best way I can.
I suffer because I live. I rise because I'm saved. I crawl out of the valley and start climbing the mountain because I'm forgiven. I have joy because I'm thankful. I know that all things are possible with Christ, and it's time to start making great things possible.
Maybe I'm on a different kind of Lenten journey. Or maybe I have given up something. Maybe I've let go of fear and doubt that have plagued me for too long.
And maybe a different kind of journey is exactly what I need.
That's all today. Take care and have a great rest of the week.