The story of Army Pfc. David R. Fahey Jr. touched him, and O’Hanlon sent out his thoughts, related to the coming of Lent, via email. The subject line read “A life ended too soon.”
O’Hanlon said I could share what he wrote:
Have you had your annual check up at the Doctor and your cleaning at the Dentist? Do you have all your forms in to your accountant to get your taxes filed? Have you called your mother/ uncle/ sister? How old are the batteries in your smoke detectors? Is it time for a new oil filter on your car?
If you were to make a list of things you have to take care of how long would it be? Are there things you should be doing for yourself that get pushed off your “to do list”? Are you so busy you don’t have enough time to exercise or prepare healthy meals? Do you keep quality time for the important people in your family and your good friends each week?
How about church? Some people are so conditioned to church as something you do as an obligation or to please an old relative that there seems to be nothing in it worth while. Obligation, fear and guilt once filled churches, but that day is fairly gone. A great many Americans switch their religion or their denomination because they want something that’s not their parents’ church. They don’t want to go somewhere and have people say, “Hey, it’s Frank and Sally’s kid! Which one are you?”
Along with a good diet, exercise and recreation you need to check-off care of your soul. A nice vacation and quality time for an important relationship can warm your soul but there needs to be more. How is your Karma? How do you make sense of your life’s journey? Lent is a time to listen to your soul and see what care and attention it needs. Lent begins on March 9th and for many Christians this is a day to get Ashes marked on your far head. A mark to remember our mortality and to think about our moral standing and need for repentance. We will be having services at 11:30am and 7pm. You may come and just observe or you may want to receive Ashes as well. If these times don’t work there is also a service at All Souls Presbyterian (just down King Street facing Lyon Park) at 7am (55 Parkway Drive). Many other churches will also have opportunities.
A teaching assistant in our child care center is just 23 years old and probably doesn’t think much about her health and probably less about death. On Monday, however, she got news of another 23 year old she knew who had died. Private David Fahey was killed in Afghanistan. It is a life ended too soon but what do we believe about death? Many of us don’t need ashes to remember our mortality. For others who are young the symbol doesn’t have anything to attach to. For all of us it is a day and an opportunity to stop and consider who has made us from dust and will welcome us home when we leave that dust behind.
It’s that time of the year again. Sisters and brothers are coming together to get their soul check up. How about you?