Trusting in an Empty Bag

Blog Published: February 17, 2021
By Sister Julie Myers, OSF
Lenten Blog: Trusting in an Empty Bag

The season of Lent summons us to a journey—a journey that slowly unfolds with each step we take. It’s filled with a lot of unforeseen adventures, challenges and surprises, mountains, and valleys. It is a journey designed specifically for each person willing to engage in it! It’s unique to who you are, what you’re made of, and the amazing potential that lies within awaiting your discovery.

So, how do you prepare for such a trip? I’m sure your first instinct is to “pack your bag” with all the essentials you think you need—extra clothes, walking shoes, enough food and drink, electronic devices and cables, favorite books, and… whatever deemed necessary.

Ash Wednesday is the doorway by which this journey begins. We enter this season of Lent remembering where we come from, understanding who it is we belong to, and learning how to live the priceless gift of love going forward. The ashes we receive are symbolic of death, repentance, and belief that Christ died for our sins, and they serve as a sign going forward.

Your name has been called and you’ve been summoned. As you step over the threshold, you’ll see ahead a companion waiting for you. His smile is the size of Montana, his touch like the warmth of the sun, and his countenance like fresh morning dew. He bends down, puts spittle in the dirt, and then standing looks into your eyes with an immense love while making a cross on your forehead with the spittled dirt. He then invites you to leave your bags at the door and in a gentle whisper says, “I am enough; come and follow me”.

I encourage you to follow this ruffled companion named Jesus. May you dare to carry the empty bag and to walk the road less traveled. Be willing to engage in opportunities of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, and trust in the “enough” he promises. Let go of your own control and allow God—your God who knows you better than you know yourself—to be creatively at work within and around your being.

Now, be on your way with anticipation in your heart, courage in your pocket, and enough by your side. Let us pray for one another as we dare to let go and let God be at work within us this Lent.

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