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GRIME DUST & US
Sometimes we can feel that things in our life are beginning to get to us. This could be attributed to a number of factors including the 24 hour news cycle constantly pumping out bad news from all over the world, or to the growing practice of ‘doom scrolling’ on our smart devices. This is the habit of continually scrolling down through news stories that relate to murders, domestic violence, assaults, road rage, floods, fires and disease. Another issue that can reduce our resilience is the almost constant push to create laws that work against members of our society who are unable to protect themselves such as the elderly and the unborn. Little wonder we can feel overwhelmed.
ATMOSPHERIC DUST & SOLAR PANELS
A recent break from almost constant rain showers that northern Tasmania has recently enjoyed provided me with the opportunity to undertake some regular maintenance around the house. One task I undertake twice a year, is cleaning the grime and dust that accumulates on our solar panel array. While doing this, I was surprised by the thickness of the layer of grime and dust that had been deposited on the panels over the previous six months. I had expected that the almost constant rain showers would have resulted in cleaner panels. This was not the case, the grime had resisted and required a good scrub with a soft broom to remove it.
As it turns out, dust is all around us. It consists of fine particles from soil, pollen, wood smoke, vehicle tyres, brake pads, engine exhaust, meteorites and volcanic eruptions. In domestic settings, dust contains additional components such as human skin, animal fur, mites, mould spores and particles from clothing and floor coverings.
There are two aspects that a worth considering with respect to grime, dust and solar panels. The first is that given the inevitable presence of dust in our atmosphere, dust will be deposited. This is a slow but relentless process. The second is that this deposit has a very small effect on the weight on my roof but a has large effect on the efficiency of the panels. I noted the output before and after cleaning the panels and was surprised to see that the efficiency increased by close to 25%.
WORLDLY GRIME DUST & US
By now we are all probably wondering what the connection is between grime, dust and us. Just as a layer of grime and dust on a solar panel will have a negative effect on its output. I believe that that we, as Christians can have our effectiveness reduced by the cumulative effect of what I will refer to as ‘worldly grime and dust’. This ‘dust’ falls constantly from the culture we live in and builds into layers of grime. This is a slow but relentless process. Although the rate of deposition has a minute effect on our physical weight, its presence can have massive effect on our emotional state and on the way we interact as Christians. The fallen state of the world can put layer after layer of grime onto us. This accumulates so slowly that we can be unaware of the effects this may have on our lives until we begin to experience problems such as anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. This sometimes leads to behavioural changes in our lives that include a reduction in church attendance, seeking God less in prayer and in neglecting our Bible reading. These changes can have a similar effect on us as grime on a solar panel; reduced efficiency caused by the grime blocking the light. Jesus who is the light, had something to say about situations like this.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
THE ULTIMATE DUST BUSTER
Worldly grime and dust will be with us until Jesus returns in what will be the final outworking of God’s plan of redemption for His people. Jesus uses some very strong language when He refers to some of the elements that could be considered to be significant contributors to worldly grime and dust.
“Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”
While we wait for Jesus’s return, we are given some advice that should put the fallen world and the associated ‘dust’ problem into context so that we need not lose hope.
Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.
Jesus reminds us that we can expect the world to have turned its back on God. However, we should continue to do what is right, including calling out evil and strive to be holy, while we continue to look forward to being in His presence forever.
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
Jesus gives us a reason for hope that should transcend our daily circumstances. The cosmic battle between good and evil has been won and we have been tasked to let others know that this is the case. We are loved and we have hope because we are forgiven. This is a hope that we can, and should share with others.
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Because of this love, worldly grime and dust is washed away and we do not need to be anxious. Instead, we need to resist the temptation to turn away from God and the support that is available through the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ when the layer of worldly grime and dust starts to get to us.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We also have the guidance of the Holy Spirit who although active under the Old Covenant, adopted a much more personal and active role in the lives of the followers of Jesus. We have the presence of the Holy Spirit as our counsellor and as our guide.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
We can know the Holy Spirit. He illuminates scripture, convicts us of sin and helps us to pray when we are at a loss. All of this should give us a reason to help to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the people that we can influence through our both our words and our actions. So, if we are feeling out of touch with Jesus, let’s pray and ask Jesus to dissolve the worldly grime and dust so that we can connect more effectively with our creator. Then we can connect more effectively with those who have not yet experienced the saving grace of our LORD Jesus Christ.
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