Whether it’s large and ornate or small and understated, headstones have one thing in common…the “dash”…1957–2014…which represents the timeline of our lives – the space between birth and death.
In the U.S. the average life expectancy is 78.7 years. That doesn’t seem like much to me…78 birthdays, 78 Christmases, 78 Independence Day celebrations…a little more than 2 months worth, and that’s only if you are fortunate enough to meet that expectancy.
Eight weeks ago, I lost my brother-in-law and this morning, the mother of a friend of mine died so that “dash” is fresh on my mind. My bro was younger than the life expectancy and my friends’ mother was older so I guess, overall, nature has a way of balancing things out.
The loss of these two precious gems did not appear on the news, in magazines or on the latest celebrity page but that does not alter the impact of the loss or change the influence their short lives had on their friends and loved ones.
Which brings me to my pondering….
“Life is more fragile and precious than I can comprehend, but believe me, I’m trying.” ― John O’Callaghan
How do we fill the “dash”? What occupies our time, thoughts, focus? Should we make the conscious decision to alter it?
Am I a holy, innocent child of God as a result of my identification with my Lord and Savior? Do I look at my life as being in my Father’s house? Is the Son of God living in His Father’s house within me?
…. I must learn to identify myself closely with my Lord in ways of holy fellowship and oneness that some of us have not yet even begun to learn. “. . . I must be about My Father’s business”— and I must learn to live every moment of my life in my Father’s house.~ Oswald Chambers
As dedicated as Oswald Chambers was to his calling, even he was aware of the physical limits of humanity and took breaks when necessary. However he did not live in the “breaks”. He lived in the “dash”, making every moment count for the Kingdom.
So how should we fill the dash?
1 Peter 2:9(AMP) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20(AMP) Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own? You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, [made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
1 Peter 1:15-16(MSG) As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
What’s in your dash?