Have you ever walked through an old section of a cemetery? You can find such interesting headstones there. Some of the things written on them can be silly, sad, serious, or sentimental. Here are a few I found…
*“Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal”
*“Gone from our sight but never our memories, gone from our touch but never our hearts”
*This is a classic one: “I told you I was sick!”
*And I love this one: On a gravestone from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there’s only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.
What will take you out of this world? Will it be like poor ol’ Fred in the photo? “Here lies good old Fred; a great big rock fell on his head.”
You never know when you will take your last breath. It could be in the next hour, tomorrow, or fifty years from now.
We are all allowed only so many days on earth. So, what do we do with them? Do we fill our days with choices that will affect ourselves and others in a way that is positive or negative?
Do we consider ourselves as worthy as the Lord does so that we don’t step out of His safe boundaries by making wrong choices?
You are worthy; God’s Word says so, for He thinks enough of you to give you a part of Himself when you accept His salvation. As the apostle Paul said, “Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that He lives within you?” (1 Cor. 6:19a TLB)
What Paul wrote to the Colossian believers is for us as well. He prayed that they would “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:10 NKJV)
Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians is also for us. He pointed out that their “daily lives should not embarrass God but bring joy to Him Who invited you into His Kingdom to share His glory.” (1 Thess. 2:12 TLB)
How, then, do we make the right decisions to honor the Lord within us? What will keep us within His safe borders? The answer? Knowing the Lord, staying rooted in His Word, and trusting Him to help us make the right choices.
Scripture tells us how to make our days worthwhile through the words of Solomon, “I, Wisdom, will make the hours of your day more profitable and the years of your life more fruitful” (Prov. 9:11 TLB), and Isaiah, “I shall walk carefully all my years.” (Is. 38:15b NKJV)
If headstone engravings are a miniscule summation of a person’s life, what is the most important part? Some of you may know. Give up? It’s the dash. The dash between the dates.
Are you walking carefully through your years, your dash days? What did you do last year? Yesterday? What will you do today, tomorrow, or throughout the rest of your time on earth?
The effects of the decisions you make in your lifetime leave telltale signs of your character, and that is what people will remember about your dash days.
At the end of the day, when your head hits that pillow and you look back over your day, do you find that you wasted it or made it worthwhile? Will you have to live with any consequences to your choices? As the old saying goes, “As you make your bed, so must you lie in it.”
This reminds me of the old comedy series Happy Days in which Fonzi once said, as his own twist on that saying, “You make your bed bad, you get wrinkles!” He was right! If you make your life’s bed bad by making the wrong decisions, you get wrinkles in your life!
So, what makes up your day-bed life? Lush sheets of stinginess, a comfortable mattress of misbehavior, a puffy pillow of pride, and all covered over with a blanket of bitterness?
Or is it made up with kindness, good deeds, comforting and encouraging words, and saying “no” to things you know will bring negative results in your life or in another’s life?
When all of your days come to an end, what will others engrave on your headstone? Will the words tell of how you lived your dash? Will your dash be wasted or worthwhile?