Other than the fact that, if you do the math, now you know how old I am, what is significant about the above words and dates? Well, I hope a lot!
You see someday those words are going to be chiseled into a piece of granite marking the place where my body will be lain. Now I am hoping that day is a long way off, but even more I am hoping the time represented between 1971 and 20?? will be worthy. I am hoping that I can keep from getting so caught up in the day to day that I forget to keep my “eye on the prize” (Philippians 3:14) It is so easy to get distracted by today’s troubles or responsibilities but if we could keep an eternal perspective I think when it is all said and done our Savior meets us at those pearly gates we will hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
A few months ago my friend, Julie sent me the following poem that sums up exactly what I am trying to say.
By Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spend alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little time was worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time if left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
So how about it? How are you spending your dash? Especially as we enter this busy back to school season I want to challenge you to “just slow down enough To consider what's true and real, And always try to understand The way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, And show appreciation more And love the people in our lives Like we've never loved before.”