This past Monday would have been my father’s 90th birthday, had he lived that long. He passed away in 2007. A few days before that was my youngest grandson’s first birthday. Many of you have prayed for him, and his heart issues, I am happy to report that he continues to do very well. As time passes, and generations come and go, the birthdays continue.
I was invited to play golf a few weeks ago at a golf course in Bessemer that I hadn’t played at in almost thirty years. It is located right next to the cemetery where my parents (and sister) are buried. In fact, you could hit a 6-iron from the first tee of the golf course to their graves, if you could navigate around a few trees. I hadn’t been to the cemetery since my mother’s funeral, so after the round of golf, I drove around the corner, and made my way to their grave sites to make sure they were still kept up and to take a few moment to remember my dearly departed family members.
All was in order. I took a photo with my phone of their tombstones, inscribed with their names and two sets of dates, one for the year they were born, and the other for the year they died.
I was reminded of a sermon I heard once, and a poem quoted within in, entitled “The Dash.” It pointed to the “dash” in the middle of those two dates on a tombstone. When you think about it, the dates on both ends are significant and what we usually give most attention to, but it’s that simple horizontal line in the middle that represents the whole life that was lived.
And really, though it’s usually ignored, it’s that punctuation mark–the dash–that counts most. It’s not so much when you started, or when you’ll stop, as what you do with the time between the dates. Or, more specifically, what you do with your “dash.”
So, I have to ask: What are you doing with your dash? What kind of legacy are you leaving, by the kind of life that you are living? We can all choose, intentionally, what we do with the time God allots us here on earth, to invest it in those things that really matter, and to live in such a way that leaves a legacy that honors Him.
I pray that your dash is blessed this week, and that your life honors the One who gives you the life you live.