THE WORD: About the ‘dash’

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 26, 2019

This past week I saw a social media app that takes a current picture of an individual and “ages” them. Perhaps that might be somewhat entertaining to an 18 or 20-year-old, but to anyone over the age of say, 40 or 50 — that hits too close to home. Or maybe it’s just me.

In any case, unless the Lord returns, none of us are getting out of here alive. The most sobering statistic is that 10 out of 10 people die. That’s not a very popular thing to say. But it is true, nevertheless. It is not a question of “if” but “when.” So, no, an aging app is not appealing to me.

Which reminds me of this poem “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis:

I read of a man who stood to speak At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on his tombstone From the beginning … To the end.

He noted that first came his 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 he spent alive on earth …

And now only those who loved him 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 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?

During the last week of his life Jesus told about three people who were challenged to live their dash well.

It’s found in Matthew, Chapter 25 verses 14-30. And in these verses we see why our life and what we do with it matters to God: “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey …”

We might not all have the same amount of talents, but we all have a “dash.” Let’s use it well!

REV. JOHN MOXLEY can be reached at jmoxleydillwyn@ gmail.com.