It’s the start of the Lenten season today. On Ash Wednesday, we begin a multi-week period in which Christians are called to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to pull away from the attractions of the world and to immerse themselves in their spiritual lives.

This year is an unusual Lent because it begins on Valentine’s Day and ends on Easter Sunday, which is also April Fool’s Day.

Yet the intertwining of Christ’s message of love and the apparent foolishness of the Easter message to the world are nothing unusual or new at all.

I’ve been praying about my own sacrifices for Lent for several weeks, and I’m still not sure what I’m being called to do. Perhaps the answer is in this juxtaposition of love and foolishness: to examine my life and make sure that what I love, as represented by where I devote my time, attention, and passion, isn’t wrapped up in the foolishness of this world, but in the love and wisdom of God for what lives on beyond our lives here.

That’s what I’ll be praying about today.

In the meantime, here is the creativity prayer that we’ve been sharing for many Ash Wednesdays, now. May God bless you creatively and in all other ways in the weeks and years ahead!

A Creativity Prayer

Lord, thank you for creation itself and the incredible gifts and talents you so generously entrust to me. May I appreciate and develop these talents, always recognizing that they come from you and remain yours. Guide me in using them for the benefit of everyone that I touch, so that they may be more aware of your creative presence and develop the creativity entrusted to them for the good of others. Help me also to use your talents to bring a creative spark and new possibilities to your world, living out my call to be an integral part of your creative force. Amen.

©2008, Mike Brown