What’s your favorite number? Some people like the day of their birth or the day of their marriage or the jersey number of their favorite sports star. We use favorite figures in pin numbers and email addresses and passwords. Some favorite numbers represent the amount we’d like to earn in a year, or the bank balance we think we need to be happy, or the lottery jackpot that will change our life. We’re a numbers driven society.
What are the most important numbers?
When we die, there will be two numbers on our headstone: the date we were born and the date we died. These may be the most important numbers in our life because they’re when we start and end, and for most of us it’s all we’ll be remembered by in generations to come.
But here’s truth: neither number matters as much as the dash in between.
Date of Birth – Date of Death
The DASH. The essence of our time here with others. The fullness or emptiness of our life. It’s how we spend our time. It’s how we love or ignore others. It’s how we give or take. It’s the quality of our life viewed through an eternal lens. It’s the legacy we leave or the resources we burn.
Our dash may overflow with life and purpose as we encourage and help others to grow and find hope. Or our dash may be full of forgotten toys and self-pursuits that couldn’t fill us up, and in the end didn’t really matter.
Our dash will reflect wisdom or waste.
We want to find what makes us happy. But what if our strivings only bring us closer to the second number on our tombstone and do nothing to enrich our dash? How do we make our dash matter? We start pouring into other people. We become available to how God wants to work in us and through us. We open our hearts and minds to Jesus and the eternal life He offers. We understand that what matters most is not what we accumulate in this life, but how we use our gifts for God’s kingdom.
Our dash matters when it reflects God’s love.
We have no control over the day we were born. And the number of our days has already been written in God’s Book of Life. The numbers we think are important today will fade away after we’re gone. All that will be left is what we did with the dash in between.
What are you doing with your dash?
“Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.” Psalm 90:12 (GNT)
Let’s Talk: What are you doing with your dash?
May I pray?
God, You created us for purpose. Each one of us has specific talents, likes and dislikes, and a circle of influence that no one else has. No matter where we’ve been or where we are, You can use our lives for good if we fix our eyes on Jesus and walk daily with You. Help us to see that the “good life” is living to our full potential based on how You created us, not accumulating possessions that won’t truly satisfy. May our life, our DASH, reflect Your love as we pour out to others and share life in sisterhood. Amen.