Are We Just Dust In The Wind?

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

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.
All we are is dust in the wind.

I was driving home from work the other day when I heard the song, “Dust in the Wind,” recorded by the American rock band, Kansas, in 1977. It’s a tidy little song with a serious theme. Specifically, are all of our dreams, all of our works just dust in the wind? Are we just a “drop of water in an endless sea?”
Truth be told there’s a pretty strong Scriptural foundation for the song’s reflections. “You are dust, and unto dust you shall return,” the Book of Genesis reminds us. And Psalm 90 is just as provocative in saying: “Lord, you return humans to dust; they disappear like the grass that dies; by evening it is dry and withered.”
Not properly understood, all this could be pretty depressing. Is our life on earth that meaningless? All of our works and worries, our accomplishments and achievements, our fondest hopes and dreams – have they no lasting meaning at all? Do they just fade away after we’re gone, never to be remembered or celebrated? If that’s true we could rightly ask, “What’s it all about, Alfie,” as Dionne Warwick sang in yet another plaintive tune.
I prefer another vision of life, articulated so beautifully by Pope Benedict XVI in his historic, inaugural homily: “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary,” the Holy Father proclaimed to the listening world.
The point is that we should keep our time here on earth in perspective. Of course our life has meaning! After all, God created us in his likeness, called us to be his partners, and, when we failed, sent his Son to redeem us. Our life on earth is temporary, it’s true. But it’s beautiful, it’s important and it does have meaning. And the ultimate meaning is to prepare us to share in that life that never ends, our life with the Lord in heaven.
Something to think about: Never forget how much God loves you! You are a unique part of God’s plan!


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