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Dust In The Wind


"All we are is dust in the wind."

I don't know why this thought came to me, except that I felt I must stand against it. Even though it's from a fairly new song written by Kansas, the idea that we are nothing but dust struck me as something that must be as true and old as a proverb, perhaps even scriptural. 

I asked my mother, "Is the idea that we are nothing but dust in the wind biblical?"

"I think maybe."

"It can't be," I said. "It is totally wrong."

My mother turned to me. "Now be careful what you say."

"But it can't be. God wouldn't ever say that we are worthless."

And that's when I realized the full extent of why this bothered me. Surely, it wasn't in the Bible. Surely there would be no justification to the idea that we are nothing, meant for nothing, and to be nothing forevermore. God is a God of purpose, order, and beauty. Nothing, or rather, nihilism, seems to be against His very nature. 

And so I searched to see whether this was a Biblical concept.

1. "You Are Nothing But Dirt."
In the beginning, God created Earth, and with it dust, and out of dust He made man. Dirt, in the very beginning, was not a curse nor an evil, but a part of God's beautiful creation. God gave man Earth, and He said, "It is yours if you obey me and love me."

But man chose to reject the blessing of life; he turned his back on God's purpose and he ate from the tree that was not meant to be touched. 

Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

The curse did not ever devalue life, but simply brought an end to life through death

Life is still a beautiful blessing. 
Death says, "Life is no more."
Life says, "But I am still most." 

But even then, when it has come to an end, life is a will always be God's ultimate creation. Death does not defeat that. The dust we will become does not erase the life we had and will once more have because of Yeshuah's ultimate death. 

2. "You Are Nothing More Than Grass or Flowers"
Psalm 103: 12-16:
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear [respect] him. 
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 
As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more.

It is true, that through the passing of history, every major stress will be forgotten along with every great joy. No matter your prestige, there will be a day when few will know your name. Every important matter will be of little consequence to our future generations as if were of no difference at all. 

And yet, just because it's lost its impact, just because it's forgotten, and even though there is no more relevance; these are not reasons enough to say that now does not matter, nor to say that God's flowers and grass are nothing simply because they will wither and die. 

Yes, our time is limited. 
Yes, our transgressions have brought us death, in the form of dust. 
Yes, the passing of time will cause some to forget the colors and nourishment our lives gave to Earth. 

And yet none of this devalues who we are and our purpose. 

Psalm 139: 14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Yes, the flowers will fade. And yet their days of glory were and are real. 
Yes, the grass will wither away, but yet it served its full purpose to greet and comfort men. 

We will fade and die.
Our death matters little. 
But our lives; now that is the true question. Did we comfort men with a bright, cheery hello? Did we kiss their weary feet and bring joy to their eyes? 
No death can defeat us if we truly flourished as not even the flowers are capable. 

3. "We Are Nothing."
From Kansas' song: 

"Just a drop of water in an endless sea ... Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky"

We are nothing, they say because we are little. And yet, without the many drops that make up the sea, the sea would not be. 

They say we are nothing because we are not forever. Only the earth and the sky last beyond death. But no. 
I will be redundant and say it again. Life is not worthless because it ends. Life ends because we rejected it, not because it is nothing. And even then ... past death, our worth and eternity are beyond even the earth and the sky. Now we have mortality, and yet God still loves us. Even with death, we are more precious to our Heavenly Father than earth and sky together. 

We have a purpose that can not be erased by death nor by the passing of ages and the forgetfulness of humanity. Even when yours or my life is forgotten, together as the drops of the sea, we are humanity and we are something. 

And then we come to Ecclesiastes, the book that says over and over  I am nothing and life is meaningless.

And this is true if we take God out of the equation. If we reject the life that God gives us if flowers were not to share of their beauty, if we wallow through life refusing to love and be loved, we would be forced to say, "I am nothing and I am worthless."

 We must remember the parable of the talents. We must remember that without God we would be nothing; because without him there would not even be dust. 

4. He is everything
And now we come to the life of Yeshua; a beautiful, gracious life that showed what it meant to be as the flower and grass, living life fully in who He was. And His death did not defeat His life, but rather fulfilled His life and gave more life and then lived. 

Death mattered not. 
Death determined nothing. 
Death had no influence over life, had no sway over purpose and worth and value. 

And because of Yeshua's life and resurrection back into life, we can continue to have meaningful lives. We can live, never fearing death even when it comes to own us for a time. Because death is not the master of life. 

We are dust. 
We will be dust once more. 

And yet, because He is everything we are something, too. 

5. A Snarky Twist
But let's be honest for second this post wasn't meant to be serious. 
The thought really initiated as a dark, black laugh. Satirical, if you will.

"We are nothing but dust in the wind."

What!? But have you ever seen a dust storm? A tornado? Has even just a tiny bit of dust ever blew in the wind and went straight into your eyes? 

If so, you wouldn't call dust in the wind nothing. 

Yes, it may have once been something different, even something more in some sense. But it still has essence and power. That dust in the wind can cause anything from mild annoyance to drastic damage. 

Even Yeshua's death could not make Him nothing. Even as He was dead he continued to annoy and cause damage to the Pharisees' and Sadducees' ideologies. 

So, next time someone tells you we are nothing but dust in the wind, tell them this: 

"Yes, I may be dust in the wind; but I am not insignificant. I will be the most annoying, chaotic dusty wind you'll ever see. I'll sting the eyes of my enemies and I'll ruin the plans of my foes. I am dust in the wind, and yet my life goes on to work out the purpose I was created to complete." 

Be the dust in the wind, that violent, annoying force that not even death can hinder. 


So, what are your thoughts? 

Are we but dust in the wind, nothing more, of no consequence? 
Have you heard this Kansas song? It's worth listening to, if not because melancholic music inflates the soul (so I think ;b). 








Comments

  1. I love your blog, Keturah. I was feeling really sad at a funeral recently, and the sermon didn't make me feel any less sad, but this did.
    And I like how you pointed out it's COOL to be dust in the wind or a drop of water in the sea, insofar as we are. Part of the fabric of the essential things. Insignificant but also not.
    I don't think I've heard any Kansas songs besides Carry On, Wayward Son, haha, but I'm definitely going to listen to this one now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, I'm so happy to have been able to share a little joy with you. There's been so much death these days, it's important to remember life and that death is not the Ruler.

      YES! I recently wrote a poem, too, on this, about how we aren't more alone, but completed by those around us.

      I haven't listened to many of Kansas's songs, either. I really should, though ;D

      Delete
  2. This. Is so cool. Yes, we are small, and yes, we have value.

    I know a priest who often says that Catholicism loves the phrase both/and. Every Ash Wednesday we have charred palms rubbed in a cross on our foreheads and are reminded, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return," but we also believe relentlessly that Man is the pinnacle of earthly creation, the king of all the animals, the steward of the world. We are both teeny tiny insignificant dust particles and infinitely precious in the sight of God. Our littleness has value.

    (You mentioned Ecclesiastes and I was like, "Wait, what? Ecclesiastes is the pessimistic book?? But I thought I just read that one and LOVED it and found it COMFORTING?" And then I looked at my Bible and realized I'd been getting ECCLESIASTES mixed up with the deuterocanonical book ECCLESIASTICUS. Like, duh, Megan. So I've probably been going around all this time saying too-cheerful things about Ecclesiastes. *pounds forehead on desk*)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh I love what that priest says! And what you say about our littleness having value!

      What, there's another Ecclesiastes!? Rather, Ecclesiasticus. I'm going to have to read this! Haha, that's so funny!

      Delete

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