The Dash and Life’s Purpose

The Dash and Life's Purpose

We received the following poem from friends who found it in an anonymous publication. It is titled “The Dash” and has a good message for us all:

“I read of a preacher who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the date on his tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of his birth and spoke of the last date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time that he spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved him know what that little time is worth.
For it matters not how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spent our dash.
So think about this long and hard, are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left, you could be at ‘dash midrange.’
If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real,
And always try to understand the way other people feel,
And be less quick to anger, show appreciation more,
And love the people in our life as we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect, more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash,
Would you be pleased with the things they say about how you spent your dash?”

— John N. Clayton

Help to Keep Us Humble

Help to Keep Us Humble

Occasionally our readers send us poems and articles. Larry Fischer sent me this one, which I feel can help to keep us humble. No matter how good we are at what we do, anything we do as humans is pretty insignificant compared to God. Being humble is an attribute that every Christian should have. Perhaps this poem can help:

Sometime when you’re feeling important
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room.
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out, and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you want when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.

First Peter 5:5-6 says it well: “All of you should be subject to each other and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.”

When we feel pride welling up, we should ask the Lord for help to keep us humble.

— John N. Clayton © 2020