Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dusting - an exercise in futility?

"Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established."  (George Carlin)  This is so ridiculously true, isn't it!  You dust the house and in minutes you see the gathering particles again!  What is up with that? Add to the mix you live in the desert where the air is seldom without dust due to the dryness of the climate and you just have a recipe for doing the same things over and over again (even if you invest in the expensive dusters that "attract dirt").  Maybe that is my problem - I am investing in the dusters that actually attract dirt!  They are probably just beckoning the stuff to come right on in and settle down for a while so they can do their job again!  Seriously, all kidding aside, we sometimes just face the same stuff again and again in our lives, don't we?  It is like we do something to counteract whatever it is, but then it is just there again, almost like we never dealt with it in the first place!  Maybe it comes from doing the same thing over and over again hoping to find a different outcome.  I think that is what some call the "definition of insanity"!

The hope of those who do right is joy and celebration, but the only prospect for those who do wrong is futility. (Proverbs 10:28 VOICE)


"Change is the only constant, and to turn one's back and pretend that it is not coming is an exercise in futility." (Anthony Carmona)  It may come as no surprise to any of us that change is upon us the moment we take the next breath. Even the next breath we take is not guaranteed, so change may come in the form of a new odor taken in with that breath, or even the sudden indication breath has been taken from you without your knowledge.  Change is inevitable - it is the only constant!  I honestly believe there is one other "constant" in our lives and that is the truth of God's grace! His grace doesn't abandon us to the futility of our own repeated actions, nor does it abandon us to the emptiness of doing the same things over and over without getting different results.  Grace changes things up for us, but we have to see where it is grace points us in order to allow our course of action to be changed just enough to get us off the same mark we have always hit!

Futility may be the result of becoming too "idle" in our walk. We just don't take the necessary steps to remain vibrant and "alive" in his grace.  It isn't that grace has changed or abandoned us to our own devices - it is that we don't appreciate the presence of grace for grace is always with us. Idleness is a dangerous threat to growth. As long as we continue to just stay put in whatever we are doing, we will eventually begin to sense the emptiness of nothing "new" coming out of or entering into our lives.  It isn't that there is no hope for change, it is that we have become complacent in our emptiness and accepted it as the "futility" we are forced to deal with.  If we are to break free from the futility of our inactivity, or the activity of doing the same things and expecting different results, we have to allow grace to propel us forward!  Grace isn't about staying put - it is about embracing what comes next and then what comes after that, and so on.

To some, the defining factor in change is the sense of uneasiness which comes when you think things are impossible.  As you may recall, scripture reminds us all things are "possible" with God's grace!  Nothing is impossible, but our imaginations and will might need a little convincing on that one!  Think about dusting the house again - we imagine the furniture without that layer of annoying grit - right? It is one thing to imagine it - it is quite another to embrace the dust rag and actually put forth the effort to see it removed. Some of us are content to move it around a little - like when we take up a feather duster and just "brush it off" that surface. All we are doing is sending it into the air to come to rest on another object a few feet away!  Grace does more than "brush off" the things we are trying to be rid of - it actually captures it and removes it so it is not the same "dust" we are dealing with again and again!  We may see a layer of "dust" in our lives at a later point, but grace ensures it is not the same dust this time around!  We may never be totally free of those things which seem to "settle" into our lives, leaving a layer of "dust" where it settles, but the remedy remains consistent - let grace embrace it and remove it!  Just sayin!

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