The liturgy of Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are dust—all of us. But that was last week. Once the last particles of dust have left our foreheads it can be hard to remember this fact. The yearly remembrance of Ash Wednesday is helpful but the world and our busy lives has a way of too quickly settling us back into ”business as usual” and slotting us back into our regular habits and routines. In chapter 1 of A Practical Christianity we are told that dust is the most “democratic of substances,” a sign of our common humanity. Jane Shaw reminds us that none of us is immune from having shortcomings or making mistakes–and every one of us has access to the fullness of life to which God call us.
Another author, Frederick Buechner, says that most people think of eternal life as what happens to us when we die, when we’d be better off thinking of it as what happens when we really start living. What do you think—does remembering that you are dust—and will return to it—set you free to enter eternal life in the here and now? If not, what practices do you engage to help you remember that Jesus is offering real life, right now?