We do not put any value in dust. We might think nothing of dust. Dust is that pesky thing that we try desperately to get rid of. When we see dust in our homes or on other surfaces, we do not like it, we might even hate it.
In the Book of Genesis, we hear of how God created the first human beings from dust and then breathed life into their bodies. God used this valueless thing, this nothing, to make people. God did not hate the dust and God loved the people that God created.
Think of all the babies that have been born throughout history. Their creation was miraculous, not existing one day and then nine months later a complex human being exists on earth. One day nothing, then months later something.
As we grow in years our lives become more complex. We not only develop and change physically, but we acquire more from this world. Responsibilities, wealth, possessions, power, and status are some of things that become a part of who we are. We quickly forget that one day we were nothing, we did not exist. We also do not think about the fact that one day, our physical existence will come to an end as well.
At the beginning of the Season of Lent we use the words, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” These words serve as a reminder that without God, the One who created us in the womb and who sustains us in life, we would not be. These words should humble and temper us so that we do not allow the complexities of life to distract us from loving, thanking, and having a relationship with God. We are called to use all of who we are to be the light of Christ in the world and not for our own ambitions.