Thursday, February 5, 2015

-Between the Dash-

Obituaries typically put life in chronological order, and in abbreviated form. For instance: day and place of birth, town where the person lived and worked, schooling, list of surviving family members, and finally where and how they died.  They could have lived twenty-two years or ninety-two years. They could have been married and had children and grandchildren, or they could have been single or divorced. Sadly, though, an obituary can only say so much. And once we’re laid to rest all our gravestone will say under our name is the years of life, separated by a dash. The end. Or so it would seem. But, it’s the dash that means everything. It’s the dash that represents a life full of achievements or disappointments, enjoyments or disillusionments, meaningfulness or worthlessness, belief or disbelief.

What will your dash represent? What would your dash tell others if they could see the entire minutia of your everyday life? Would they see regrets? Undoubtedly. Would they see triumphs? Assuredly. Would they see dreams fulfilled? Not always. Most importantly, would they see a person who came to know and love our Lord and Savior before the date after the dash? I pray, yes.

As an untraditional college student (that's anyone over a certain age, hmmm?) I took a writing class in which everyone was asked to write a short autobiography.  I thought to myself, of what interest would my humdrum life be to anyone, let alone someone who was only twenty years old? Well, I was surprised to find my viewpoint erroneous.  Everyone had a story to tell. There were stories full of captivating and amusing anecdotes, stories of love and loss, and even Ellis Island.  They were stories that held merit, every single one of them. It made me realize we all have a story to tell. We could all be a Hallmark movie in the making. You see, that dash represents so much more than just empty years. It should never be seen like an abbreviated obituary with, “just the facts, ma’am”. That dash represents dreams and promises and hopes. No matter the amount of years, I pray they stand for a life well lived, full of forgiveness and love, and a belief in something greater and bigger than oneself, so that even after the date after the dash it will not chime, “the end”, but only the beginning of something  glorious. Amen.

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