Today is Ash Wednesday.
Today is also a regular Wednesday on which I have an important meeting from 8am to 9am, 30 short minutes to have breakfast, campaigning from 10am until noon, a 20-minute lunch, then three classes back-to-back, then a quick dinner, then my staff meeting, then another meeting, and then, yes after everything, mass. The last service.
Today is Ash Wednesday, and even though all the people with the Ash crosses on their foreheads remind me to make time for God on this special day, I waited until the last minute to do that.
So God did it for me.
Right after dinner, I entered the elevator, pressing and pressing and pressing the close-the-door-button at least 15 times so nobody would hold the door open and so the elevator would go up to the 7th floor more quickly. As I was frantically checking my emails, the elevator made a big sad noise and then – stopped. Between 6 and 7. And so did my life for the entire 5 minutes that I was stuck in the elevator for. Between 6 and 7.
After pushing the alarm button and making sure help was on the way, I took a deep breath, put my phone away, and closed my eyes. For the first time in a long while, I said a prayer, in the middle of the day, in the middle of a really busy Wednesday. For my mother, for my sick choir director, for my cousin, for Obama. I had to get stuck in an elevator in order to have time for God.
Today is Ash Wednesday, and I am going to mass now, right before the day is over. I am going to be with God for the next hour, and I am so looking forward to it.