[Brent’s note: Several years ago I saw something very similar to this brief article, but I thought it was worth sharing in today’s bulletin.]
Consider James’ insightful statement in James 4.14: “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”
The phrase “that appears for a little time” is represented by the “dash” between the dates of one’s birth and one’s death. Think about it. When people view your headstone what stories will people tell about you when they reflect upon the “dash” between the dates?
Until your last date, the “dash” between the dates, is all that is important. Everything we do in this life is the “dash” that will one day stand between our birth and death. So the question becomes, “What are we doing with the ‘dash’ of our lives?”
Please understand, it’s never too late to change your life (the “dash”) and give it to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! James says: “For what is your Life?” One hundred years from now, what will represent you on this earth? It will be the “dash” between the dates that counts.
Sadly, the “dash” between the dates has been full of sin. (Gen. 3.22; Rom. 3.23; 6.23; James 1.14-16) So, all of us will die, that’s a fact of life. All will face the final Judgment, that’s another fact of life. (Heb. 9.27) And so, the “dash” between those dates is all that counts, when we stand before God. We are going to be judged by virtue of how we – the “dash”! (2 Thess. 1.7-9; Matt. 25.21) We do not want to hear the Lord to saying to us, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25.41).
Some “dashes” on tombstones are short; some are long. We never know how long it will be. It’s the “dash” that God looks at, not the dates of birth and death. When we read Ecclesiastes 4.1-16, we understand what Solomon is really telling us in all this wisdom – it’s the “dash” between the dates, which without God is vain or empty! He concludes,
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole of man. for God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Eccl. 12.13-14).
Hopefully, we will never take the “dash” for granted, yes, it truly represents the days of our lives!