The Dash

I was born in 1983. It was a Friday, and my county was having their then annual School Fair Parade. My mom says it was pouring the rain, and she tried to flag down an ambulance to no avail. I can picture her standing in the pouring rain, in labor, trying to flag down an ambulance in the middle of our small downtown. Maybe this is why I love the rain so much.

When people pass away, we sum up their life in this format 1983-????. This format tells nothing about their life. It tells the beginning and the end, but the part in the middle, the dash, is the part that really means the most. The beginning has happened. For me, it happened that rainy Friday in September. My ending is known only to God and there is nothing that I can do to change it.

The part that I can control, the dash, is where I need to focus my thoughts. Have I done enough with my dash to make a difference in the life of others? Has my dash been worthwhile or have I squandered it away? We all think that we can start tomorrow to be a better version ourselves. Tomorrow isn’t a given. We have this moment that we are living in, and that is all we know for sure.

I want the days in my dash to mean something. I want the people in my life to know how much they mean to me. I want to make memories and share laughs that will last long beyond my time on earth. I want to leave behind a legacy that my kids can be proud of.

I want the days in my dash to be used to bring others to God. I want to live my dash so that when my time is through, there is not doubt that God will say “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

I wish I could say that everyday in my dash has been utilized by me to be the best version of myself. I try, but I fail daily. I have let others down. I have let my anxieties create barriers. I get angry, and say things that I don’t mean. My dash won’t be perfect, because I am an imperfect person. The only perfect person to ever walk this earth, did so for one reason — to die for my sins and give me the hope of everlasting life. It is through him that I am forgiven.

My dash is full of highs and lows, heartaches and triumphs. It is full of celebrations and let downs, but more importantly my dash is full of God’s grace.

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