The Dash of Life


     One Saturday night a preacher took a very long rope and laid it around the outside walls of the mammoth church auditorium.  Near where he would stand the next morning, he took some bright colored yellow tape and wrapped it around three inches at one end of the rope.  When Sunday came the congregation was puzzled as each member crossed the rope to enter the auditorium and be seated.  When he arose to preach, he made the following observation: “In a cemetery you will find on nearly every headstone two numbers separated by a dash.  The first number is the date of the person’s birth; the second number is the date of the person’s death; the dash represents the person’s life on this earth.”  Holding up the three inches of yellow-taped rope, he continued, “This rope represents your existence.  The yellow tape on it is the dash that will be on your tombstone.  As you look beyond the dash and around the rest of the auditorium you will quickly see how little of your existence is spent on this earth.”

     In Psalm 39:4-6, David’s fervent prayer was: “Lord, make me to know my end and what is the measure of my days that I may know how frail I am.  Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.  Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches and does not know who will gather them.”  Life upon this earth is fragile, unpredictable, and limited in duration.  Life beyond this earth is irreversible, settled, and unlimited in duration.  Everyone’s final earthly appointment is with death (Hebrews 9:27).  After that, there is the judgment.

     What are you doing with your dash called life?

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Author: jchowning

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