Consider the dash…

On gravestones, there is something that seems out of place. Some have a favorite Bible verse plus the name and the birth date and the date of a person’s death. Some don’t have anything beyond the person’s name and the date of their birth and the date of death. The one thing that seems out of place and without much explanation is the dash. It is hardly noticed because it is placed between the years on the stone. It essentially represents our life. From birth to death this “dash” is where everything in this person’s life has happened.

They grew up as a child and went through school, got married, and had some children (maybe) and along the way, they worked at a job. They could’ve gone on a mission or to church most Sundays, but unless we knew them there is no reference to this.

The dash between the dates of your birth and your death is all that is left here on your grave to give evidence of your life. The real evidence of your life is your children and your spouse and possibly some friends that you made along the way. But what does the dash mean? It signifies your life. As Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”.

Anything and everything that we have done in this life is meaningless unless we have done most of our work during our life for God and His Kingdom. I don’t mean that you have to be a pastor but living your life daily as a Christian does count for something. Even if the dash doesn’t show it. So what happens on the dash? Your life! Every person’s life is different so only their family and friends would know what belongs in that space. God, of course, knows exactly what happened and why.

The dash of your life looks short and it is, just as your life is short in comparison to eternity. Even if you live to be over one hundred years old, eternity is unending. God’s Kingdom is in eternity and it had no beginning and it doesn’t have an end just as God had always been existing in that realm. That is why our lives are referred to as a wave on the sea or a puff of smoke because our life is like the snap of your fingers. Earthly life only lasts as long as God allows it to. The end of your life is known to God but thankfully not to us. 

We are not guaranteed tomorrow so seek the Lord while He can be found on this side of life because once you pass into the next life, your eternity is determined by your choice. Follow Jesus and be useful to Him in this life and in the next.

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