by Tracy Hacker
You may have read the title and are thinking you are about to read a story about running or a race, quite the opposite. This post is about life and how we choose to live day to day. The things we focus our time and energy on are eternal.
I had the opportunity recently to visit the gravesite where my grandparents are buried. Lots of emotions ran through my mind as we stood for a few minutes talking over memories and sharing funny stories about my grandmother and the joy that she brought here on earth. So many fond memories of spending time with her. Like many loved ones, she left this earth way too soon.
Standing in the middle of the small cemetery looking at all the headstones, names are different and the dates vary but one thing was the same on all of them… the dash. I had the opportunity when my grandmother passed away several years ago to be part of planning her memorial service. I remember sitting at a long conference table with my mom and several other family members as we began to put into a mere two or three paragraphs the life of this precious 92-year-old lady. We listed children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, those who went before her, the usual bits of information. I just kept thinking, “How do you put 92 years of a full life into a few paragraphs?” The days following were full of much laughter, remembering her personality, and joy. There was sadness as well, but her life was truly one of joy and definitely one to be celebrated!
The reality of this life on earth is that if Jesus tarries, death is a reality. So the question comes … What will you and I do with the dash? That little line between the year you came into this world and the year you passed into eternity. How will we spend the time God has given us here on earth? The Bible refers to life as a vapor, fleeting and brief. The way we spend our days really does matter. The people that we invest in on this earth are heavenly treasures. The car you drive, the house you live in, the money (or lack of) in your bank account has no heavenly value. Jesus died that we might have life, not just any old life, but abundant life. The cross was a tremendous price for you and for me, for salvation and eternal life. The tragedy of the cross comes when we waste the opportunity He has given us to be a blessing. We were created to worship Him with every part of our being, created to praise Him with our whole heart, anything less is wasted.
God wakes us up every morning with new mercies, precious breath and hours ahead to be a blessing. We are given a clean slate, a fresh start, a blank page every morning. He extends grace and mercy for us to walk through each day and to bless those we come in contact with and most importantly to share His love and grace with those around us. You and I can memorize scripture but if we do not walk out the love in those words with those around us, it is just words. His word is powerful and can change lives. You and I get to be a part of that by the way we carry ourselves and His message. My hope as you are reading this post is that you will be challenged to share Him more and testify to the hope that is within you. As a Christian, you and I have a story, we have been changed, redeemed, set free. Grace is real and forgiveness is lasting. So, what will you do with your dash?