THE SECRETS OF DUST
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THE SECRETS OF DUST

BY: JOSEPHINE OLATOMI SOBOYEJO

Published September 15th, 2010

In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground—then the LORD God formed [Heb: yatsar] man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [ruach] of life; and man became a living being [nephesh]. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden [the word means “delight”], in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” (Lambert Dolphin)

 


The caption might not be original; in fact there was a Mexican Movie serial shown on Nigeria Local Television sometimes ago titled “Secrets of Sand”. My meaning and the reason behind my choice for this title differs greatly from that Movie. Genesis 2:7 (NIV) clearly says: “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” From this account of Creation; man was formed from the dust of the ground; therefore the secrets of dust is synonymous with the secrets of man. I sincerely hope I am communicating. The study of man is truly complex. No man can be totally trusted except a renewed spiritual man that has God as the hub of his existence. The heart of a man is extremely dangerous and that is why you have degenerates and gutter snipers. Woe beholds anyone who is unlucky to associate with these devilish men. The Yorubas’ will say “Oju lari ao ri inu” You can see the face but not what is hidden inside. Men can laugh with you, eat and drink with you and then turn around to stab you to death. I have often wondered why the heart of man is so wicked but I no longer do so because it is coded in the ‘secrets of dust’.

Man cannot really be tamed as one can tame animal pets. God who created us has reasons to regret creating man. God got annoyed at a point to the extent of destroying mankind but did we change thereafter? The answer is NO. God also made a way for reconciling us back to Him but do we recognize and acknowledge this Way; the answer is NO. All our faults as humans are embedded in the secrets of dust/sand. Scientists have tested, surveyed and performed incredible experiments on sand & dust of the earth but none has decoded the secrets of dust. In this decode lies the true understanding of man. My random thoughts are browsing and exploring many perspectives but I must confess I am nowhere near the answer or answers. I have an analytical and scientific mind with a pragmatic legal leaning yet I cannot fathom the secrets of the dust. Let me start my exploration from what I know and have learnt about the Earth; maybe or per adventure together we can learn the secrets of dust/sand.

The earth was formed as a habitat for men and angels, and then filled with living creatures. As completed on the Seventh Day, the earth was exquisitely beautiful, self-renewing and free from defects or flaws. The statements of Gen. 1:31-2:3 indicate that God was thoroughly pleased with all aspects of His creative handwork after its completion. Six times in Chapter 1, God inspected His handwork and declared that it was “good,” (v. 4, 12, 16, 21, and 25). When all was completed his seventh and final blessing was to pronounce everything “very good.”

Structure of the Earth

Geophysics, which studies the physics of the Earth, has led to many significant discoveries about the Earth and its make-up. Scismological studies of the Earth uncovered new information about the interior of the Earth that has helped to give credence to plate tectonic theory. “Earth has several distinct layers. Each of these layers has its own properties. The outermost layer of the Earth is the crust. This comprises the continents and ocean basins. The crust has a variable thickness, being 35-70 km thick in the continents and 5-10 km thick in the ocean basins. The crust is composed mainly of alumino-silicates.

The next layer is the mantle, which is composed mainly of ferro-magnesium silicates. It is about 2900 km thick, and is separated into the upper and lower mantle. This is where most of the internal heat of the Earth is located. Large convective cells in the mantle circulate heat and may drive plate tectonic processes. The last layer is the core, which is separated into the liquid outer core and the solid inner core. The outer core is 2300 km thick and the inner core is 1200 km thick. The outer core is composed mainly of a nickel-iron alloy, while the inner core is almost entirely composed of iron. Earth’s magnetic field is believed to be controlled by the liquid outer core. The Earth is separated into layers based on mechanical properties in addition to composition. The topmost layer is the lithosphere, which is comprised of the crust and solid portion of the upper mantle. The lithosphere is divided into many plates that move in relation to each other due to tectonic forces. The lithosphere essentially floats atop a semi-liquid layer known as the asthenosphere. This layer allows the solid lithosphere to move around since the asthenosphere is much weaker than the lithosphere. The Composition of the Earth proved that God is greater than any scientist. In fact God is the origin and creator of the earth and heaven. No human scientist can re-create near the perfection of God’s creation.

Man is physical and spiritual; we were designed to live simultaneously in two worlds, the material and the “heavenly places. At creation man received three kinds of life, spiritual, soulical and physical. The physical life known as BIOS is the lowest kind of life. The general life possessed by all living things including plants and animals. The soulical life also known as Psuche refers to the natural life. This is the natural life of the fallen man. Man’s soul is the personality of man. The soul has organs of volition, emotions and intellect. God views the man’s soul as the man himself as written in Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Our Spiritual life is meant to be Zoe. At regeneration, we receive the very life of God called Zoe in Greek Language meaning Everlasting life. This is the life the Father has in himself, and He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself. John 5: 26 says “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the son to have life in himself.” The state of perfect harmony and state of innocence prevailed before the Fall. This is the meaning of the Hebrew shalom. Shalom (peace) implies wholeness and harmony between man and God, man and nature, man and his fellow man. In the realm of human behavior, death came into the world through the sin of Adam. Passages such as Romans 5:12-14 remind us that death was originally foreign to man. Death, as described in the Bible means not only the dying of the body, but spiritual separation from God accompanied by the symptoms of boredom, loneliness, loss of purpose, crime, violence, blights, disease, and a thousand miseries common to our daily human experience. In spite of all the advances of science and medicine, health, education and sanitation, the mortality rate still stands precisely at 100%.

Human mind is wicked; the explanation I can deduce for the corrosive nature of man is within the secrets of dust. As I said earlier; the outer core of earth is composed mainly of a nickel-iron alloy, while the inner core is almost entirely composed of iron. Iron as we all know corrodes maybe that is why man’s attitude is corrosive. We know stories of human greed, lust, wickedness, hatred, sexual immorality and other bad behaviour(s). The human race had no character and no integrity. Darkness covered the whole surface of the earth by the sins of men. God got very angry once and destroyed the whole earth with water but in His Name, He swore not to do it again; but has the earth changed? No. The earth is still full of hypocrisy but God’s love is unfailing. tc ""This logic of the relationality of being and cosmic life gives rise to the view that all reality is inter-related. This same relational metaphysics is what under girds the life of the individual in community. 

J. S. Mbiti captures this relational metaphysics succinctly in the dictum: "I am because we are and because we are therefore I am." The life of the individual comes into fruition through the social ritual of rites of passage. These rites are the process that can help the individual to attain to the goals of his or her destiny, given at birth by God. Those who successfully go through the rites of passage become candidates for ancestor hood -- the goal of the ideal life. For the African, ancestors are much more than dead parents of the living. They are the embodiment of what it means to live the full life that is contained in one's destiny.
The various elements of African religion that make the transcendental structure of African religion are expressed differently by the various African people on the basis of their social organization and environment. The strenuous resistance by man can never alter the Divine purpose of God. The hammer cannot break the anvil! It is madness to dream of thwarting God's purpose. God made man to do three main things: (1) Do Justly, (2) Love Mercy, and (3) Walk humbly with Him. With these three dictates; you might be one of the few to discern the secrets of dust or why God formed man from dust of the ground. I am still searching the secrets; I might be lucky one day!

The two most important words from this caption are:

‘Secrets’ & ‘Dust’; and while dust might just seem like a nuisance, it's really a very important facet of our atmosphere and climate.

The Dictionary I have handy is the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (Low-priced Edition); checking through it for the meaning of ‘Secret’ & ‘Dust’; I come-up with the followings:

SECRET:

1.     That other people are prevented from knowing about

2.     Not known by others to be stated thing

3.     Careful in keeping secrets; SECRETIVE

4.     Something kept hidden or known only to a few people

5.     Something unexplained; Mystery

6.     A single or most important means of gaining a good result.

The Synonyms of Secret include: Clandestine, Covert, Underground, Top Secret, Undisclosed, Furtive, and Hush-hush.

DUST:

1.     Dry powder made of extremely small grains of waste matter

2.     Finely powdered earth

3.     Fine powder made of small pieces of the stated substance, and

4.     The earthly remains of bodies once

The dust Synonyms include: Powder, Dirt, Sand, Earth, Soil, Filth, and Grime.

Meanings 4 & 5 of ‘Secret’ are the nearest in meaning to the above subject matter. Dissecting the Mystery or Mysteries of Dust tasks the mind, the body, and the spirit of man. I have always been fascinated by mysteries. When I go on holidays, I love visiting those mysterious tourism sites. They bring out the investigative and research links in my mind. Also films that have compounded mysteries delight my mind. Let us not digress too much as we are looking at the ‘Secrets of Dust’. Ever wonder what dust can do. Dust can drive you nuts, coating everything in a fine layer of gray film that makes you shudder in dismay, but it's actually an incredibly diverse collection of matter, everything from sand to cotton lint and pollen particles to persistent bacteria. Strands of hair, spider webs, insect corpses and mold spores are also among the myriad substances that might be lurking in those tumbling dust bunnies. You can now see why a man at times is a bunny. And while dust might just seem like a nuisance, it's really a very important facet of our atmosphere and climate. Robert Irion wrote in Smithsonian magazine, December 2009 that Dust captured by a spacecraft from a comet's tail holds clues to the origin of the solar system. He said the Scientists expect the comet dust to yield clues about how our solar system and planet were formed. Earth has been through so much in its 4.5 billion years when volcanoes have erupted, mountains have risen and fallen, heat and water have chemically transformed rocks time and again that scientists have trouble getting their hands on the earliest possible geologic evidence in what might be called showroom condition. It has all been buried or altered. In contrast, comets, which are about the same age as Earth, are pristine relics. "There's nothing left on Earth's surface that's nearly as old as these bits of crystals and minerals," says Carlton Allen, astro-materials curator at the Johnson Space Center. A comet, he continues, harbors the "starting material for our solar system, the stuff that came together to make everything we see.

Hidden on every sandy beach is a mystery waiting to be solved. Just where did the sand come from? Did it travel very far? Sands betray the secrets of their history to the skilled sleuth. Sand is the geological term applied to particles with a diameter between 1/16 mm and 2 mm. Sands collected from different environments vary widely in their characteristics and reflect the geologic history of their source area. There are four common sources of sands: skeletal remains of organisms, weathering of continental granitic rocks, weathering of oceanic volcanic rocks, and grains precipitated from water. For instance, sands collected from the beaches in the Bahamas or Cancun are commonly dominated by carbonate grains made from broken mollusk shells, sea urchin spines, and coral debris. Sand is rare in the deep ocean, which is mainly mud. In every grain of sand is a story of earth says Rachel Carson.  Remember I told you that these secrets are really the secrets of man; man was formed from Dust. More of these secrets are embedded in man (masculine) than in man (feminine) because man (feminine) was created from the refined man (masculine) with the breath of God. I will be discussing here both the Internal and External Dynamics of Fleshy Man. The Inner dynamics are: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from man’s lip while the External dynamics are: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed not forgetting Idolatry. For a man to get away or get out of these dynamics; a man needs total reformation and transformation; a total change of the inner man that the Christians refer to as “Being born again”.

A man must clothe himself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. These later attributes are born out of great love and you can only get to this point when you have discovered the secrets of dust and have mastered them. These secrets are no longer hidden to you. You have uncovered the mysteries or gain the knowledge from being part of the inner cycle. I must tell you there is only one ‘WAY’ to become a member of the inner cycle. One important thing we need to remember is that God created man; male and female, He created us. Therefore our times are in God’s hand. Times and Seasons succeed one another very quickly. We should wait on the Lord patiently. Each time and season is kept by God in His own hand, He opens and none shuts; God shuts and none opens. But in the same hand are the needed supplies of wisdom, grace, and power. These are not what you get from the dust that makes your body but from the Spirit of God when allowed to dwell within your own spirit and control you. My advice is that you take what is needed from God’s hand and go forth to play the part for which the hour calls.

There is no eternal resource inside the dust. To get what is eternal that is everlasting, you need to rely only on God’s Resources: His Spirit, His Strength, His Faithfulness, His Peace, His Provision, and His Help in Temptation. God only can make you comfortable in the most uncomfortable places and give you peace in the midst of trauma. Losing some things will actually help you to appreciate the things you still have. The taste of failure makes success sweet. You live each day not knowing what tomorrows all planned out. However long the night, morning always come and with it its own joy. As you look back you will realize that God’s Grace protected you, provided for you, secured you, calmed you down, comforted you, and brought you through the past travails. Times and seasons change but not God. God is always the God of all Comfort.

I need to make some clarifications here; there are seven things God hates and they are:

1.     Haughty Eyes

2.     Lying Tongue

3.     Hands that shed innocent blood

4.     Heart that devises wicked schemes

5.     Feet that are quick to rush into evil

6.     False witness that pours out lies, and

7.     A man who stirs up dissention among brothers.

All these seven are attributes of dusty nature. You have to remove your total self from these attributes. Attributes that make us effective and productive in the knowledge of God are: Faith in God, Goodness, Knowledge, Self Control, Perseverance, Godliness, Kindness and Love. Koinonia is the fullest possible partnership and fellowship with God and with others. Koinonia with God comes from a real personal encounter and surrender to Him as the absolute LORD. God at times allow you a long period of treading (walking) in desert not reaching one’s goal or destination to humble you and to test you in order to know what your motive is truly is. All God wants is to be well with man that He created for His pleasure. It is important to note that your company determines your conduct; your conduct determines your character and your character determines your destiny. In the knowledge of the secrets of the dust; it is important to be aware as Richard De Haan (our Daily Bread) says that:

·        When the warm “South Wind” with its soothing and balmy breezes brings showers of blessing, God is LOVE

·        When the cold “North Wind” of trial and testing sweeps down upon you, God is LOVE

·        When the “West Wind” blows hard upon you with its punishing intent, God is LOVE

·        When the “East Wind” threatens to sweep away all that you have, God is LOVE

Selfish interest rules the world and many are determined to go extra miles to perpetrate their greed. Man in his dusty and sandy nature is grime and cares for no one except himself. There are more to say on the ‘Secrets of dust or Secrets of sand’ but I want to end it here, maybe in future we can explore the mystery together but for now; let us end it here with a quote from William Blake, Auguries of Innocence:

          To see a world in a grain of sand,

and a heaven in a wild flower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

and eternity in an hour.




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