but dust (putting ourselves in perspective)
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You won't think that the word dust would have much of an impact on a person's life. However, in one of those life defining moments two weeks ago, my eyes were opened.
I was late for the men's leadership forum and wondered why everyone was quiet. Perry welcomed me and gave me an unexpected gift, 20 minutes of quiet. It's funny how my life had been so busy lately, that all my times of quiet had been crowded out by noise and activity.
He gave us choices as to what to ponder during our silence and I chose Psalm 103.
It started of with familiarity: "Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me bless His holy name."
I welcomed the beginning of verse 3 which stated that God pardons all my iniquities, but stumbled on the second part as I always do about him healing all my diseases.
I was touched again at how very much God loves me in verse 11, for He loves me as high as the heavens are above the earth, which is an infinite distance.
Then it hit me, verses 13 and 14: "Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame: He is mindful that we are but dust."
In a healthy way I started to ponder what this really means. In other words, I didn't take it that I was worthless, I had just read how highly valued I was in God's eyes in verse 11 and how tender He is with me as His child in verse 13.
What I began to think about is how much dust I've been kicking up. How much of the time I am extending a whole lot of energy and doing a whole lot of activities on dusty stuff; stuff that has no real purpose.
I wasn't condemning myself for having fun or enjoying life or anything like that. I believe God has created a beautiful world for us to enjoy. However, being a human doing at times instead of a human being, I was struck at the vanity of so many tasks on my to-do list, tasks that if I'm not careful, I will do with a blinder to their eternal ramifications.
What do I mean? I mean relationships. When it gets right down to it, what lasts past my life into eternity? God and the souls of the people around me. Relationships are what lasts.
There are things we have to do that are required to maintain what we have. It's good stewardship. However, if these things like my job, cleaning, office work and maintenance become my focus at the expense of my relationships, then I am focusing on dust.
Ecclesiastes 3:20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.
But God breathed life into us and we are made in His image: Genesis 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
And as His children, we are as pottery blessed with His Spirit: 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
And how about when I try and serve others. If I am doing it in my own dusty strength without yielding to His strength, aren't I just throwing dirt in their faces?
And how about all the rights I think I have? And the times my feelings get hurt and I refuse to forgive and hold onto what i want? How much does that really matter to a bag of dirt?
Being reminded of my frailty is transforming my life, if I can remember it. It keeps me humble. It keeps me focused on relationships and eternal things.
I found a small pouch the other day and filled it with dirt from the yard. I closed it up and I carry it with me. It's a great reminder when I start striving about dusty things or take myself too seriously. It's even helping me when I get too into sporting events and take loses personally. (8^o
There's a lot a person can learn from a bag of dirt.
I know that I am loved so much by God that I will never comprehend it.
Paul writes in Ephesians 3:17b-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I soak in this truth all the time. It reminds me of an ocean of love. However, if I forget the Kingdom of God and start focusing in earth (literally). Then all I have to do is remember that I am but dust.
Or maybe it would be more affective if I think of myself as Butt Dust. That'll humble me. (8^>
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