It was the ‘70s. I was still in my early professional life and in the middle of some gripping spiritual discovery. At that time, I was battling in the area of humility. When in your growing years you are often regarded as very special by the family, relatives and friends, you cannot help but get swell-headed. That was my case. What was worse was that I managed to hide it, and so the anomaly festered until it was unbearable.
It was at this time that a song caught my attention as it did many of my generation. The title of the song was “Dust in the wind,” by the American band Kansas. The music and the lyrics of the soft rock just captivated me, since it offered me some answers and relief to the inner tension I was suffering then.
“All we are is just dust in the wind…,” it plaintively said. “All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see…dust in the wind,” it continued. The words simply told me not to take myself too seriously. In my thoughts, I realized that in the end, we are nothing regardless of our many accomplishments. I found comfort in that thought.
Then fast forward. I have gone through a lot of drama in life, and yet I managed to stay afloat, thanks to what I considered as the strength that flows from the virtue of humility. I felt blessed!
Then I discovered something else. While it’s true that we are indeed nothing without God, we are actually something when we are with God. In fact, we are a great thing when we truly are with God, for we indeed are his children, his own image and likeness.
Of course, we have to continue being humble, since everything that we are and all the good things that we have come from God. There is no good thing that does not come from God. It would indeed by crazy if we expropriate as our own something that can only come from God.
With God, even the most insignificant thing that we are, or that we say and do, can acquire a tremendous eternal value. With God, everything that happens to us, no matter how small and ordinary, has the potential of bringing us to our eternal life.
A passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes is very apropos to this point. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted..” (3, 1-2)
The same Book of Ecclesiastes says that in our life there seems to be a monotony, a sense of meaninglessness. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again,” it says. “There is nothing new under the sun.” (1, 9) But this is only apparent. We can fall into this thinking precisely when we fail to see things with faith, when we are not with God.
In the end, the happy conclusion that we can get is that we are not actually a mere “dust in the wind” that will just be blown away into total insignificance. If we see things with faith, if we strive to be with God, we will realize that even the most insignificant things we have in this life, even the worst mistakes we can commit, do have the tremendous possibility of bringing us to God, and of enhancing our dignity.
That is why, in dealing with the drama in our life where good and evil co-exist, we should do our best to be with God, no matter how unworthy we feel we are with him. Let’s always go to him so we can see things properly and hopefully react accordingly. With God, everything will always work out for the good. (cfr. Rom 8, 28)/WDJ