The Dancing Puritan

Saturday, August 3, 2013

All We Are is Dust in the Wind



Grass is a mocker. You mow, feel a sense of accomplishment, and then you turn away and it needs mowing again. Grass is also a teacher. Thankfully it has a season and (for most of us at least) it does not require constant mowing. The flowers act in a similar manner. They pop up, look beautiful, delight those who watch for them, bring a sense of loveliness to the world, and then they die. Flowers fade fast.

We are like the grass and the flowers. We have a beautiful, flourishing, and energetic season but then we fade. Soon we will be gone and even the memory of us will only be a faint resemblance. Such is the life of man.

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more (Psalm 103:15).

Sigh.

When Psalm 103:15 is isolated it paints a bleak picture. A person is born, they have a brief season in which they flourish, and then they fade away (even from memory). When a person dies it is imagined that they will never be forgotten. Yet, as the days go by, the once vivid memory becomes sketchy and  the deceased have projected on them thoughts, attitudes, desires, and actions that are more of a caricature than a portrait of reality. They are gone, they are not coming back, and they cannot even be rightly remembered. We should all take note. Today is an opportunity to flourish but even now we are diminishing. Our stuff is diminishing with us.

But . . .

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children (17).

Psalm 103 is a call to bless the LORD and not to forget that He is a forgiving, healing, redeeming, crowning, loving, merciful, good, and compassionate God. He knows us. He knows our frailty, our fleeting moments of glory, and that we are like dust in the wind (6-16).

We are like dust but God is not. He is everlasting and His love is everlasting. When all earthly excitement fades and the shine of our youth has faded away--God remains, as does His everlasting love. This is what we must cling to when our shoulders slump, our back aches, our mind slows, and when we are cast aside as irrelevant. And though we will be forgotten on earth after we die, we are loved and remembered by God.

Today is a grass-mowing day. After all of the rains the grass is flourishing. Yet soon the cold winter's air will blow and the grass will fade. Grass is a mocker and grass is a teacher. Listen and learn.