I was recently at a book signing in my hometown, Portsmouth, Ohio. At the bookstore where the event took place, my husband got into a conversation with one of the salesmen. They were discussing the theme of my book—leading a significant life and leaving marks that last. This led to a chat about tombstones— how each one has carved into the granite a person’s date of birth and date of death. Then Eli, the salesman, remarked, “Yeah, but it’s that little line in between that counts.”
My husband picked up on his observation and responded, “You’re right! It’s all about the dash.”
We all have a date of beginning, and for each of us there is appointed a time to die. The question is—what have we done with the span in between? What about the dash? In the above mentioned scripture, John makes it clear that we are not given the luxury of resting on past accomplishments. That’s why he warns us to watch out. We know he is not referring to salvation, because we don’t work for our salvation. We will be rewarded for the works we do in response to our salvation. But if we fail to continue in our love and obedience, we stand in danger of losing the prize.
So what is being engraved in your dash? Will it reveal a steadfast loyalty to the lover of your soul? Will it be marked with truth, kindness, humility, mercy? Will love border its edges? Don’t fall into the trap of complacency, or even worse the deception of pride. Stay on guard. Keep yielding your “dash” to God.