Updated: Mar 9, 2019
In a poem published in The New Republic in 2009 called “Be Kind,” Michael Blumenthal wrote: “Dust’s certainly our fate, so why not make it the happiest possible dust, a detritus of blessedness?”
Despite his false eschatology (dust’s not our fate; either eternal life is, or eternal destruction, in which not even dust remains [Daniel 2: 35])—he makes a good point. Why not be as positive, as optimistic and upbeat as we can? After all, as Jesus Himself said: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).
Notice, Jesus didn’t downplay the harsh reality of our fallen existence. The word translated “trouble” is from the Greek, kakia, which means “evil,” “depraved,” “maliciousness,” and so forth. Jesus is not Pollyanna. He, of course, recognizes how bad things in the fallen world are, which is why He mentioned not only the trouble for today but that it was “sufficient” for the day. That is, we have enough to deal with today, so don’t make yourself even more miserable by worrying about what hasn’t yet happened.
It’s easier, of course, said than done, but all of us, no matter our situation, have things to be happy for, to be grateful and thankful for. So, no matter your present situation, no matter how sad it is, and situations can be sad, why not focus on your blessings, focus on the hope we have in Jesus, focus on the wonderful promises given us in the Word? “Happy dust” might not be the correct term, but the author does have a point, for we all have blessings and so we have things to be thankful for, and how much better our existence would be if we focused more on those blessings.