Sitting in the high desert of NW New Mexico for the past week one is ‘reminded’ of how much our lives matter for the larger good. We each matter in the eyes of God. Our actions make a difference in a world desperate for grace. Yet sitting in the desert, on a rock, looking out over millions of years of creative sculpturing by the forces of nature and the ‘hand of God’ makes one realize just how small we are, how insignificant.
I still love that the word ‘humility’ comes from ‘humus’ = dirt. Our lives, while they matter, must be tempered by the awareness of our finitude. Yesterday, on Ash Wednesday, we said, “From dust you were created and to dust you shall return,” as we made the sign of the cross on people’s foreheads. In Lent, we are invited to get in touch with the dirty part of our lives and to spend time steeping in the reality that we will not live forever and we may not, in fact, be able to change the course of the world.