|Remember, man, that thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return
Or jocularity. This is Ash Wednesday. It's a day that even some mainline Protestants appreciate. It's a day that reminds us of the unsettling fact that in a hundred years, all but the smallest, micro-percentage of us will have been forgotten by the world. That's right. By the year 2116, the odds are my great grandkids might be aware that I existed. If technology lives up to its promises, there might be some clips of me somewhere, on a shelf, in a storage container. But so far we've not discovered any technology that is eternal. So by 2116, my boys - if they are still around by then - will remember, my grandkids might, and any great grandkids might remember the name. But that's it. The rest of the planet will have moved happily on. Just as the vast majority is unaware of me now. The entire planet will have forgotten me by then.
So what's left? That would be how I am remembered by the Almighty. In the end, for all we talk about, fret about, fuss about, blog about, what should be my main focus is me. Not in the selfish sense of the world. But in the 'where do I start to fix the problems?' sense. If I look out at the problems of the world, I should always remember that I'm a major part of those problems. And before I begin casting those stones, I had best do an inventory of my own state of affairs. Not that I shouldn't call out injustice or sin or evil, and certainly I should feed the hungry,cloth the naked and visit the prisons. But as my Mom told me growing up, the first person I need to worry about fixing is the person I see in the mirror every morning.
That's not a bad reminder, and that's what Ash Wednesday is for. It reminds us that we are chaff, dust in the wind so to speak. For all the bells and whistles of a materialistic, consumerist society, in the end I'm not worth anything if I'm not right with God. So that will be what I'm thinking over today. May all of you have a chance to reflect on that rather non-media generated priority. God bless.
"You are a fine person, Bilbo Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!” J.R.R. Tolkien