You might have heard the question, How are you living your dash? As the “dash” on your tombstone! On the tombstones there is usually the date of birth and the date of death. In between there is a dash. You can take a walk in a cemetery and look at all those dashed and wonder what story they would tell. Thus the question, How are you living your dash?
The other day I read what happened to Jacob in the Bible after his dash. Jacob the Patriarch of old. The man who cheated his brother out of the birthright blessing and then had to flee from his wrath. The man who left home with nothing and had to sleep on a hard stone for a pillow. Read his story in the Bible, in Genesis chapters 26 through 50. He was chosen to play an important part in the family from which Jesus would be born.
Here is what happened after his dash!
- His beloved son Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father, taking a full forty days.
- The Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
- When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph asked Pharaoh for permission to bury him in the tomb Jacob had dug for himself in the land of Canaan.
- When Joseph went up to bury his father he was accompanied by…
- All Pharaoh’s officials: the dignitaries of his court and all of Egypt
- All the members of Joseph’s household
- His brothers
- Those belonging to his father’s household
- Also chariots and horsemen
- It was a very large company
- Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father; all who were with him lamented loudly and bitterly
Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them: They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him there.
This is the first time I’ve stopped to consider this incident. Maybe because I’m reaching the time in life when the “dash” is getting shorter. I wonder quite a bit about my dash. What will it represent? What will my dash say to the next generation? How will I be remembered?
There will not be an extravagant burial and a long time of mourning, like there was for Jacob, I’m sure of that. But I hope I will be missed, even a little bit. But that’s not what’s important. What matters most if what will happen after the dash. As I wrote some days ago, we are made for eternity.
I hope to be welcomed by angels and my precious Savior. The most wonderful thing will be to hear these words:
His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)
Have you thought about how you are living your “dash”? Will you be welcomed with a “well done”? Stop and ponder about your dash!