Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dust to Dust

Dust by Kaptain Kobold, on Flickr

Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
-Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 (MSG)
There is a time in everyone's life when we hit a wall. All of our actions, our relationships, our work are suddenly up for question as we turn the scales we usually reserve for others upon ourselves. Putting each building block of our life upon the scales we are faced with our own imminent mortality and the seeming triviality of our pursuit.

We will amount to nothing, leaving nothing behind that was not present before.

The weight of the world comes crashing down on us like a skyscraper collapsing, where can we find relief? Where is there hope in the rubble? We are left coughing and blind from the debris invading our lungs and scratching our eyes. Left here for too long, we will succumb to the inevitable and be forgotten by the broader world, a phrase erased from a chalkboard.

In those moments when our legs buckle and our vision dims as we find ourselves clawing at the pavement to find relief that God extends us a hand. "Come, I will show you a different way." From the very beginning, we were nothing but dust, shaped and formed by the hands of God. As our form took shape, it was He who breathed our first breath into us and gave us a significance.

It is in Him that we find our significance.

In Matthew 9, Jesus rebukes the 'religious' of his day when they question his choice of company. Jesus was not associating with the rich, the powerful and the religious as one might expect of the King. Instead he chose to go to the homes of the traitors and the reviled. He sat with them, laughed with them and broke bread with them.

You can imagine the conversation that would take shape over supper as they got to know one another -- a sinner and the Son of God. One unsure of whether Jesus would be handing out judgement for their many sins, the other pouring love out on people who had lost their way. Jesus was eating with them not because they had lost their way, but because they knew it. Their hearts were not clouded with self-righteousness or hardened with years of religious teaching, but soft with a longing for deeper significance.

“Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” - Jesus
You and I are nothing but dust. There will come a day when each of us will return to the state from which we were formed. Our actions will be left as an obelisk to stand against the winds of time, slowly being chipped away until they are unrecognisable.

But our actions were never the reason we should be remembered.

Our significance is not drawn from our works, our attendance or our generosity. It is drawn solely in relationship with the one who created us. He invites us until a new family, a new way of living life so that when our spirit returns to Him who gave it, He can say to us, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

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