The ashes of an oak in the chimney are not an epitaph of that oak, to tell how high or how huge it was. It tells me not what flocks it sheltered while it stood, nor what men it hurt when it fell. The dust of great persons is speechless too; it says nothing; it as soon the dust of a wretch…as a prince…will trouble thine eyes, if the wind blow it thither.
– John Donne
The preacher used these words on Ash Wednesday this past week. The statement caused me to reflect on how the accomplishments and accolades that we might seek are pretty meaningless in the long-term. That to dust we shall all return. This understanding allows me to focus much more on the one day at a time understanding of my reality. I comment often that this “God’s will” business is not really that complicated. It is a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and simply moving forward in a good orderly direction – until that ultimate day of dust returning. I look forward to my dust being returned to the Mississippi River, to take a slow leisurely journey into eternity.