How are you living your dash?

08.12.09 | Debbie Fero | Comments[3]

I am currently reading a book by Kerry & Chris Shook. Kerry and Chris founded Fellowship of The Woodlands near Houston, Texas. The book, titled One Month to Live, asks the reader to take a 30-Day Challenge. Ask yourself how you would spend those last 30 days if you knew you only had that much time to live.

So often we suffer from what the authors call the "someday" syndrome. Always waiting for someday to begin to live the life we've always dreamed of. You know how that goes.... I'll take that vacation when life is not so busy or I'll be happy when I have the right job, find the right person, have a family.

Why do we spend so much of our time waiting? Waiting for that someday to arrive? Our time on earth is limited and as you read this, another minute is gone forever. If we knew we only had one month to live, would we live differently? Would we be more deliberate about how we spend our time?

I think if I knew I only had 30 days left to live, I would want to see as much of God's amazing world as possible. Experience the variety of His creation, meet people from different cultures. There is only one drawback though.... I would want to experience it with the people I love the most - my children and friends. OK - everyone gets a month's vacation! Let's go!

This quote from the book really makes me think.

"Looking at old tombstones, I can't help but recognize that entire lives are now reduced before me to two dates and one little dash. Some monuments include facts or sayings, Bible verses or poignant memorials, but each person's life really comes down to what transpired between those two dates. It comes down to what's in the dash. I look at the dash of a particular person's marker and wonder, What did he live for? Whom did she love? What were his passions? What were her biggest mistakes and greatest regrets?"

God decides what dates go on our tombstone but we get to decide how we're going to use our dash. Are you truly living your dash? Are you living passionately, loving completely? Will you leave this earth boldly?

How would you spend your time if you knew you had only 30 days left to live??

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on 08.11.09 Ann DeHaven commented

Among other things, I would write my funeral service, not leave it to others to decide. I want my Lord glorified in the songs, poetry, and prose. I would write a keepsake letter to each of my children, and grandchildren, about what I've learned from life and knowing Christ. I would give my stuff away to whom I wish to have it. No doubt, I would cease to color my hair! And that is just for starters...

on 09.01.09 Brian G. commented

That is an excellent quote from the book. I agree it is certainly food for thought. Of course, the reality is that we don't really know how much time we actually have. Which reminds me of that saying "live life like there's no tomorrow."

Just the other day pertaining to my own recent circumstances, I said to a guy at church "it's either a cake-walk or a faith-walk." The cake-walk is easy. The faith-walk is hard. I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, so rather than worry about it, I'm trying to embrace the faith the Lord wants me to have to trust in Him completely.

I've been single my whole life and not entirely too happy with that situation. In all honestly, I’ve been very unhappy with that and have crumbled about it a lot, even in my prayers. In Matthew, Jesus says some will not marry because God made them that way, others will not marry because man made them that way, and others will choose not to marry to serve God.

We are frequently handed situations in life we personally feel are unfair or unjust. Yet as Jesus taught, these situations can serve God's glory, if we allow them to do that and don't fight against it. In that, I can truly relate to the above-mentioned "someday" syndrome... trying to prepare for a day that may never come. But that thinking can distract us from the present day that is at hand.

In Numbers, we read how the children of Israel were led out of bondage through God's miraculous hand, and yet they grumbled and complained. In their circumstances, they forgot about all the great things God HAD already done for them. So God left them in the desert or the wilderness. And I realize that is a place I do not want to be left in.

So while thinking about only having 30 days is thought provoking, I'm trying to just take one day at a time, trusting God's good hand and taking control over the things I actually have control over and leaving the rest to HIS good wishes. Which isn't always easy because my selfish desires may not always align with HIS wishes.

That's my train of thought: just trying to live today to His glory. If I could have back all the time I have fretted, worried and wasted time being depressed about being single, I could be many years younger. What did all that worry, depression and grumbling accomplish me? I'm still single. So obviously the lesson for me is to not worry about tomorrow.

And as Jesus taught, what good does it me to worry about tomorrow when I have more than enough worries for today.

on 10.23.09 Cathy Carl commented

"What are you doing with your dash?," (ie. How are you living your life?) is a very thought provoking question. (very convicting too) I guess I want my life to have made a difference in the lives of my family and others who know me. My goal is to be able to finish my life hearing the words, "good and faithful servant." If I were to choose the words for my epitaph, they would be, "She loved God and she loved people."

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