YOU are dust and to dust you shall return! These words from the Ash Wednesday service kick-start a season of reflection.
Lent - 40 days of prayer and fasting and listening to God. What? How do you do it? Well, for me it's about 'finding' precious time to sit quietly to read a Bible: the Gospels are a rip-roaring read!
Time to talk to God and to be very honest in my conversation.
Time to think on life and where we are going with our so-precious time on earth.
Then it's a moment to recall those things which we have not done that would have blessed some one: a visit to a neighbour; a telephone call to someone on their own; some other small kindness that would make a difference to someone's day.
Faith is anchored in the story of Jesus and hopefully shown in the way our life reflects Gospel concerns: love, respect for humans, and for all creation.
Wonderfully, in the Stroud area our churches are open during the day. They offer the most amazing spaces to sit and have a go at prayer.
I think when we search and turn over the stones in our lives we begin to recognise God in all we see.
Even at the library, people can get suspicious if we sit too long, whilst in church we have freedom to be quiet and undisturbed.
It's not like home: churches are big, and sound and smell different to anywhere else. They describe faith in windows, furniture and stone. Extraordinary!
We as a society are so blessed by these wonderful peaceful places. It's good to remind ourselves that we won't last forever on earth!
Today is our time to be the best person we can.
Never mind giving up the chocolate when instead I can pray for others and put my faith - however small - into action. Put it on your list to sit quietly before Easter Sunday in a church, and don't be afraid to ask questions.