Friday, February 22, 2008

Dusty Saints

The psalmist cries out to the Lord,

“My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.”

During Lent, the cry of the psalmist becomes the cry of God’s people. Like Adam we hear the resounding Word of God announcing, “For you are dust and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19).

Unlike the birds, we have flown beyond the horizon to the moon, and we may even fly to Mars. Unlike the fish we have learned how to live under the sea and upon the land. Unlike the ants, we’ve built buildings that stand and stand and stand and continue to stand. Unlike the apes, we’ve formed clans and towns and cites and nations.

While inspired by the world around us, humans continually discover new ways to rise above the natural order. Like gods, we create, we rule, we master, we thrive. In rain and drought, we survive. We work in darkness and light. When new obstacles cross our path, we learn ways to surmount the obstacles and even use the energy from our struggle to grow even stronger.

Diseases may threaten us but eventually, we find ways to overcome. Even while facing the dreaded cancer, diabetes, heart disease and AIDs, we don’t give up. In fact, we are discovering more and more solutions to fight and win the battle against these threats.

The accomplishments of humanity boggle the mind. We live in a time of such exploding innovation that no one can even keep up with all the new discoveries that surface day after day after day.

We are lords of creation, and yet, we are still nothing more than dust. In spite of our power, our creations, our glory, we are fading. Soon we will die. And soon we will be forgotten. Like the grass, we wither and fall and fade.

We are but dust and to dust we will return.

When God decided to image Himself, He created a world. From this world, He took the dust and breathed upon it, and “man became a living being.” In spite of our accomplishments, we have no life outside of the breath that sustains us each moment.

Take that breath away, and we falter and fade. Thus the psalmist prays, “My soul clings to dust.” And yet, even as he acknowledges his dustiness, he calls upon the Word of God to revive him. The psalmist knows that the Word of God breathes life into his dust, for the Word is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).

While we rejoice and celebrate the wonder of human accomplishments, let us not be intimidated by the appearance of human mastery. We are not of the universe after all. Our kingdoms fall. Our innovations fail. Our power fades. We are but dust.

As we journey through the Lenten wilderness, let us cling to the Word of the Lord. His breath sustains, his Word creates and re-creates us. And by His grace alone, we can feed upon the Word that will stand forever.

1 comment:

Jean Solomon said...

Hi, Doug.
You are doing well at keeping current. I was on a learning curve that became steeper as I progressed, but I finally got The Call posted as an mp3. Hope you like it.