I read an author, I can’t remember who, that said grave-markers usually have the deceased’s date of birth and date of death separated by a dash in the middle. That dash he wrote was scant reference to the life that was lived between the two dates.
Two recent events turned my attention to the dash. This past Saturday, May 25, our newest and fifteenth grandchild was born, and this past Tuesday, May 28, my mother passed away. Our grandson’s dash is ahead of him; my mother’s dash is finished.
But the dash in my mother’s life included the two greatest gifts any mother can give her child; she gave me life, and at the early age of eight played an influential role in introducing me to the One who gave me eternal life.
It was Creator God who gave mankind the means to procreate so life is ultimately a sacred gift from God. The fact that life is made up of time, and that time is in limited supply, “in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me (Psalm 139:16),” makes life precious. Life is made up of time and each of us has a limited amount.
When billionaire Warren Buffet was asked recently what he valued most, he replied, “It’s the two things you can’t buy; time and love.” Time is priceless, even a billionaire can’t buy more; it can’t be saved either, only spent. God has determined for each of us how much time we have; we determine how we spend it.
In the wake of my mother’s death my time has been spent intermittently between taking care of practical after life arrangements, grief and reflection.
Memories have awakened some good, some not so good, but I have given more serious reflection to how I have used this precious gift of life and the time my God and my mother have given me, and praying I use it more wisely in the future. When I think about all the things my brothers and I might do to memorialize my mother, I cannot think of any thing better than to live my life for Christ. A cold gravestone cannot compare to a living legacy.
King Solomon wrote, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil,” Ecclesiastes 12:14.
How are you living your dash in the middle?