After another day of working on the church building preparing for our opening service on May 1st, then stopping by my favorite restaurant(What-A-Burger) for something to take home to eat, my wife and I decided to try a new route home. We are trying to find our way through this city that the Holy Spirit has assigned us to. Taking a new route to our house we turned into the cemetery and laughed together at our ability to get lost. My wife began to read dates on tombstones as we passed looking for an exit out. Some had been placed in the cemetery years ago. As I made left and right turns looking for a way out, I thought of the hearse I passed while driving into Corsicana a few weeks back. With three cars following the hearse someone’s loved one was taking their final ride that particular day. I was driving a 26ft U-Haul truck with all our possessions and the person in the hearse carried nothing with them whatsoever except what was in their heart and life. It was a very sobering moment driving Interstate 45 towards Corsicana.
I have always been fascinated with cemeteries. Not that I am anxious to take up residence any time soon, I do enjoy walking through looking and ready headstones.I am not interested so much in the year of the birth or even the year of the death. What does intrigue me is the dash in between. And I catch myself standing at a complete stranger’s grave wondering about the dash in the middle. How did they live life? What was their occupation? Was there a family left behind? Perhaps children? What kind of impact did they leave on society? Was there a void when they ceased living on this side of the veil? Were people glad they were gone? Had there been abuse? What was there character like? And on and on I go wondering about the person of whom I know absolutely nothing about.
If you have not taken a stroll through a cemetery it might do you well to do so. It is a sobering feeling because sooner or later most, if not all of us will take up a piece of real estate in such a place. On our headstones, if our family can afford one, will be a birth date and a death date. That is important, but not near as important as the dash in the middle. Here is how the writer of the book of Hebrews pens the fact that we are headed for an appointment. “And as it is appointedunto men once to die…” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV).
Let me ask a question or two. What will the dash consist of in everyone of our lives? Regrets, Disappointments, Heartaches, Failure, Broken dreams, closed doors, Loss, Ruin? Or will it be filled with Divine appointments, success, blessings, prosperity, new vistas, open doors, right attitudes, Godly character, a channel of blessing that will impact someone for the glory of God?
Most, if not all of you have seen the movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicolson called “The Bucket List”. Their list was the dash between the lives of two men who met by accident in a hospital room. They intended to go out of this world having done all they could dream in their minds to do.
Even now you and I are making the dash which will appear someday on a headstone. If Jesus tarries we all will die. I know we all think that we are invincible. But, sooner or later we will take our final ride like the person I passed a few weeks back on the Interstate. I challenge you now to make the dash count. Don’t allow the devil to steal your joy. Don’t go around living with regrets. Stop living in the past. Make your life count. It is not too late I assure you. And when another generation stands at your burial place perhaps they also will wonder about the dash between our dates. A dash that made a difference all for the glory of God!!!!!!!