Jeremiah 2:20-28

Photo of a desert landscape by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

“How do you account for what is written in the desert dust...”

I had a dentist appointment yesterday. I despise going to the dentist. Every time they take my blood pressure and every time it's just above normal. They always ask if that's normal. My response, “only when I'm here.”

As a child my experience with the dentist was not very good. I suppose that's true of just about every Gen X kid. Our dentists were more akin to the dentist played by Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors than they were some kind person. So, I'm pretty sure that I have some deep-seated embodied dentist trauma that shows itself in my blood pressure at that god-forsaken place.

Whenever you go to the dentist they ask, “Are your teeth bothering you? Are you brushing? Are you flossing?”

I answer honestly, “No, they are fine. Yes I brush. I try to floss regularly but it's a habit I haven't developed yet.”

This time the dentist said, “Well, at least you're honest. You'd be surprised how many people try to lie about it.”

There's no point in lying about flossing. You can't hide whether or not you're doing it. The evidence is clear as the teeth in your mouth.

It strikes me this morning that the same is true in our relationship with God. This passage from Jeremiah is a hard read. The people of God are being chastised for following after the fertility deities of other nations. The language is, let's say, discomforting, at best.

Yet, there's this line, “How do you account for what is written in the desert dust...”

The people tried to lie about their pursuit of these foreign Gods but God says that there's no point because the evidence is written in the dust. Their tracks to and fro are obvious.

Our lives demonstrate what we are most focused on. We can hide or fake for a time but soon enough the truth will come out. Eventually everyone will see our tracks in the desert dust.

I'm wrestling with this question today, “What tracks am I leaving in the desert dust?”


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