Dust In The Wind


I was listening to the classic rock song Dust In The Wind by Kansas the other day when I had an epiphany that was sparked by this stanza:   

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind... 

If there ever was a song that more perfectly encapsulates the essence of the impermanence of life, it's Dust In The Wind.  If you've never heard this song before in your life, you have to stop reading this right now and go look the song up on the interwebs for a listen. 

Let me pause for a moment while you are doing that to offer up this definition of the word impermanence in the event that you are wondering exactly what it means: 
im·per·ma·nence /imˈpərmənəns/ noun: the state or fact of lasting for only a limited period of time.
Okay, let me take us back to the aforementioned epiphany that I had while listening to Kansas---an epiphany that not only prompted this Devo but also filled me with a strange sense of peace.   

I came to the realization that there's nothing in life that is permanent, static, or truly grounded.  Everything is in flux.  The world is constantly changing and evolving and we are along with it. 

There may be moments, days, or seasons in our past that we want to hold on to forever, but we can't---no matter how hard we try.  And believe me, I've tried, and so have you, I have no doubts. 

Sometimes these struggles can lead us to some dark places.  We can find ourselves seemingly trapped in an endless cycle of memory and regret.  We begin to wonder if our best days might very well be behind us. 

Or we go another direction and become angry and bitter as our feelings of sadness turn to rage, which can just as easily be directed inward at ourselves as much as it finds its way outward into the world around us. 

The great Buddhist teacher and author Pema Chodron once wrote: 

 Wanting situations and relationships to be solid, permanent and graspable obscures the pith of the matter, which is that things are fundamentally groundless.  

One of the many things I love about the song Dust In The Wind is that it doesn't provide any answers to the issue of impermanence... it just accepts it.  

There's no upbeat message at the end of the song about how you can turn everything around if you just put on a happy face and keep your feet moving forward.  In fact, it's quite the opposite. 

It simply repeats the words: "Dust in the wind... all we are is dust in the wind." 

In the Epistle of James chapter 4:14, we find this amazing nugget of wisdom that speaks directly and matter-of-factly into this very idea: 

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

The author wanted his readers to know that they should put their faith and trust in Christ to lead them forward into an uncertain tomorrow.  But he also wanted them to embrace the notion of impermanence, and be empowered by it. 

When we are able to embrace the notion that all we have is today, and only today... this moment in time, and no other...  It changes the way we see the world and ourselves.  

We ought to live fully in the moment, enjoy God today, follow Jesus right now, and then take whatever comes with courage, joy, and peace, knowing that we are not alone and that even in an impermanent world, we can fully rely on the never-ending love of God for us.  

That never changes, and never runs out... ever. 

May this give you hope today and every day from this day, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  

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