You may wonder why there is a simple hyphen for the title of this post. There is no mistake. I chose it for a reason and it is powerful in its simplicity. But more importantly, that hyphen has greater meaning than that. That little dash represents the entirety of your life. That’s right! All of your life, every year you’ve lived and everything you’ve ever experienced is summarized in that dash.
On the day you die and you’re laid to rest, a gravestone will be placed above you. It may contain a brief eulogy or some passing words of wisdom and comfort for your family to remember, but it will also contain that hyphen. Right there between your date of birth and the day you die will be a dash summarizing your life.
It’s hard to imagine the entirety of our lives. To us, it seems like a long time, a time filled with experiences, dreams fulfilled, and trials we’ve trudged through. We want our lives to matter, to mean something, to show our accomplishments and leave behind a legacy. But life is a vapor (James 4:14), here today and gone tomorrow. And in its fragile state we are daily reminded of its importance.
Life doesn’t go on forever, at least this life here on earth. Our plans made today may not come to fruition tomorrow. Yet there is a way to make your life count and it may not be what you think. Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). Crazy right? We have to give up our lives in order to find them? That’s exactly what Jesus instructs us to do and it’s the only way we can make that dash on our gravestone matter.
He has great things for you to do in your lifetime and he’s blessed you with the time and talents to make them happen. Give Jesus your life and let him help you make your hyphen mean more than just a dash carved in stone.