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franklin county times

In between the dashes

I’ve heard it said that it’s only the dash that really matters.
That tiny line on our headstones between the date of birth and date of death.  One tiny little line … in that space is the story.
Inside that small typographical character is the whole of our lives. I’ve been thinking about my dash lately … what will it hold inside?
Holding hands with my husband when we’re 80?
Tucking my grandchildren into bed?
Seeing a Bible study written by me on the shelves of a book store?
Maybe it will represent 40 years of ministry in a crisis pregnancy center? Or mission trips around the world? What will the unwritten epitaph of my life be?
My prayer is that my dash says this:  She loved the Lord with all her heart, with all her soul, with all her mind and with all her strength.  And she loved others as much as she loved herself. (Mark 12:30-31)
My life here is temporary. The trials I face, the struggles I have, the sorrows in my heart … my joys, my victories, my laughter … all temporary.
Therefore I choose to make something eternal into the foundation of my life.
Something that never changes … never goes away … never ends.
I meditate on your age-old laws; O Lord, they comfort me.   Psalm 119:52, NLT
In the midst of daily life, in the quiet of the morning, in the chaos of the day, in the darkness of the night – no matter the time, I find comfort in the Word of God.
The Psalmist also recognized the need for an eternal foundation.  In Psalm 119:49-56, we find three guidelines for living for the dash.
1.  Find hope and comfort in God’s promises.  (v. 49-50, 52)
2.  Focus on Him even when others don’t.   (v. 51, 53)
3.  Find joy in obedient living.  (v. 54-56)
I cherish the eternal truths in God’s Word … and I desperately want to live by them.  I want my dash to count.
How are you focusing on things eternal?

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