Life is a journey and it’s through the path of humility that we’re eventually lifted up with honor and praise. We must be willing to submit to lowly roles before we take our seats among the greats. And it’s prideful to assume we can do otherwise. A season of ashes comes before the season of gold.
For instance, this is working in the mailroom before making our way to the corner office, busing tables before taking over the restaurant, or simply working for someone else before starting our own business.
In short, a season of ashes is a time in which we’re being refined through less than glamorous hard work. This is not the time for our gifts and talents to shine, but rather a time for us to discover ourselves. And it’s often lowly and menial work, like cleaning the ashes from a fire, so that the more prestigious work of others can be done.
But a season of ashes is not our end destination and we should be moving toward a season of gold as well – a season in which we’re now offering the full value of our strength to others.
We’ve each been given our own talents, gifts, and abilities. And at just the right time we have the responsibility to offer ourselves to our communities to bring more life and goodness into the world. And for this we’re rightly honored, not because we made a name for ourselves, but because we’ve become a blessing to others.
On the one hand, we set ourselves up for a prideful fall when we try to skip these necessary humble foundations. But it becomes a false humility when we allow the comfort of the ashes to hide our gifting and we never have the courage to offer our strength.
Humbly submit to your time in the ashes as you also learn to faithfully offer your strength as gold to bless others.