I was recently introduced to a beautiful poem, written in 1996 by Linda Ellis. It has inspired millions and led to a movement known as “Live The Dash”. The author avers that it is the time that is represented by the dash, what separates our date of birth and date of our passing, that truly matters. What we do during that dash defines our life and gives it meaning and purpose.
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of 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 they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is 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 is left that still can be rearranged.
To 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 is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?
by Linda Ellis, Copyright © 1996-2019, thedashpoem.com
The Bible reminds us that this same question has been asked for thousands of years by many different saints. King David asked the question as recorded in this Psalm. Life is fleeting, so how should we live our lives?
O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!
Psalms 39:4 (ESV)
The Prophet Moses pleaded with God to help him to make each day count and to live wisely.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalms 90:12 (ESV)
Why do we strive to gain wisdom?
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…
1 Corinthians 1:30 (ESV)
If we seek to live a life that is less prone to bouts of anger, show more appreciation for people, treat others with respect, and smile more frequently, our lives will definitely be more fulfilling. But to live the dash to its fullest expression is to live a life surrendered to the will of God, by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He is the complete and perfect expression of Wisdom.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.