Dust – Creation Sunday

Ok so I have been reading Philip Pullman recently his Dark Materials Trilogy!  And ‘The Golden Compass’ based on the first of the books, ‘Northern Lights’ was an engaging film, however ‘Dust’ is given an altogether different status in the books and it turns out that what he calls dust in the fist book / film is really dark matter – sub-atomic particles searched for by physicists – so called experimental theology!  Yes, it’s a good read!  But I mean ordinary dust, and not the sort that clogs the vacuum or hangs around the skirting board, but the Dust of the earth.  It will be Lent soon and on Ash Wednesday we mark ourselves with ash, dust, and say ‘Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return’.
Dust.  I wonder if we are content to be just Dust? For we are creatures born of the earth and to the earth we return.  There is no-one, no matter what they attain in this life who can escape that!  This past week I have spent two days travelling, back and forward to meetings.  First to London, then on to Cardiff, then back home.  I have to say that though I enjoy travelling, the train is one of those strange places in which most people are keen to avoid any connection to other passengers.  And of course there is the inevitable man (or woman) but it just happened to be a man on the phone.  Briefcase open, diary alert, talking about the forthcoming meeting with a colleague, what he did last night, and all the latest gossip.  Probably enough to embarrass him greatly if it were ever revealed, and yet it was proclaimed for all to hear.  I don’t want to know!  He was the only passenger on that train of course, as far as his world was concerned.  They were all busy.  All had something important to be doing and it was quite obvious that conversation was not an option.  I arrived in London at Euston Road, and since I had half an hour, decided to walk the short distance through the City, past Regent’s Park and Madame Tussauds on to Marylebone Road.  All were busy, busy, busy.  Heads up, walking purposefully.  It was lunch time.  Small bags with sandwiches swung by many a walker, eager to get back to the office for a working lunch no doubt.  Were any of these content with their nature as Dust?  There seemed to be an air of trying to advance, get out, get on up.  The next pay rise, the next promotion, the big deal that would make it all.  Something to be attained, just around the corner that would elevate to a new level away from the street where all were just the same.  And yet, all are dust and unto dust they shall return.  Are we content to be just dust?  The only contentment on that short walk was ironically the guitar playing student outside the academy of music.  No doubt playing for subsistence, and yet in those tones and chords, a strange contentment was evident.  Knowing who she was.  After 3 hours of meeting the tube train was necessary to whisk me away to Paddington.  It’s a strange contraption.  50 or so humans in a metal tube all ever so intent not to make eye contact with anyone else!  But all are the same as each other.  In essence nothing separates us from each other, we are all but dust and were they content to be just dust, to be common to each other?  The next train blissfully away to Cardiff, not that things are much different there, but it’s a city I know and i’ve written before on walking here.  I have an evening and a morning to wait before the next onslaught of paper and notes so I take the time to be content with life.  Contentment is perhaps the hardest of the spiritual disciplines and requires of one a belief that attainment of stuff or wealth only serves itself and not the supposed owner.  To be aware of ones nature is to be released.  It is a reason for celebration, a moment of pure joy for when we become content that we are but dust, then we can begin to live as truly human.  We become who we are and recognise our true nature in common with all humanity that we are dust of the earth out of which God created all life and to which we ultimately return.  Such is our nature and the moment we realise that we are released to live as God intended, in commonality with all and to the best of our own potential.  It is a delightful gift to be of the dust for through it we are blessed indeed as creation itself is blessed.