The Dash

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For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. —Romans 14:7–9, ESV

In English grammar, there are two types of dashes.

An em dash is used to interrupt a thought, and an en dash is used between dates. Our lives tell the story represented by the en dash between our birth date and our death.

This line between one’s entrance and exit is significant.

Paul writes, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV).

Our living moments create the dash.

And those moments between can be very short or long.

They can last for a few days, months, or years. In the end, they will determine the kind of legacy we will leave behind. The dash might represent stories of failure, money misspent, an impossible mortgage, or an unhappy marriage.

It might also represent stories of success, degrees earned, good health, and a great job. All our stories are held within the dash. Jesus’ thirty-three years on earth left an impressive dash record. He healed the lame, restored sight to the blind, raised Jairus’s daughter, and performed many other miracles. He also loved to teach the people about the Father’s love.

Leaving a great track record behind is not always easy.

However, allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our lives from the beginning to the end can lead to great results. Jesus is a great example in this regard.

Isn’t He awesome? He promises to be with us always! “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20, KJV).

With Jesus leading the way, our dash can leave a legacy of success.

Be encouraged. Treat that dash with optimal care.

Make each moment count. Paul writes, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NIV). What can others learn from your dash?

Juliet L. Lucas Languedoc

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