From my notebook:
Ash Wednesday service was particularly moving this year as I went to chapel at my moms retirement village. The service was pretty standard and was quite brief but the part that I found extremely moving was the end when everybody lined up for the imposition of the ashes and the pastor placed the sign of the cross on their foreheads and quietly reminded them, from dust you come and to dust you will return.
This reminder of our mortality was especially poignant as I watched each of these elderly people hobble away from their place in front of the pastor because each of these people represented a life. Each of them had, at one time, been my age and younger! Dust they were and to dust they were returning, right before my eyes. They were the assurance that the end does come and certainly will be coming soon for some of us.
Many of the people who passed before me could very well not live to see the next Ash Wednesday. This Ash Wednesday might be extremely serious business for them. Life on this earth is going to end. More surely than the sun will rise or the sky will stay above us, life will close for each and every one of us, and what happens then? For me, I have placed my faith, my hopes, my thoughts, my hours, my money and my shaky confidence on Jesus. Yes, Im nervous. No, I dont always have the faith I should. It seems too good to be true to easy to be real just believe in Him and confess He is Lord and be saved??!! How could that be?? But once you begin to follow Him and red the Bible, it gets more complicated yet makes more sense. As with so many things to do with God, its paradoxical.
I stand on my faith in Jesus to hold me after death, however, because of what He has done for me in life. I am nothing without Him. I have BEEN nothing without Him. By myself, I am a bitter, mean, selfish, drowning person. Only with Jesus could I have any goodness in me. Only through the Holy Spirit have I managed to display any patience, kindness, gentleness, or any real love. And God has blessed me in so many ways. Since He touched my life at age 17 and even before, I have felt His influence and have received innumerable blessings making my life bearable and often even wonderful.
If you dont know Jesus for yourself, I would advise you to seek Him out and learn about Him. I dont see how anyone can live without Him and certainly it seems futile to die without Him. Try a prayer. What have you got to lose?