Have you ever picked up a book and had its message go straight to your heart? That's what happened to me when I found the little book "The Dash" by Linda Ellis.
Actually, the book is based on a 250-word poem written by Ellis. She had attended a funeral where a friend of the deceased spoke at the man's memorial service. He spoke of how quickly our time on earth passes and called it "The Dash," between the date of our birth and the day we die.
In the small book, Ellis lists some things we can do to make our dash more meaningful. Among them are: Slow down so that you can recognize what is real and true; don't live by phony values; pay attention to the feelings of others; be slow to anger; decide what needs to be changed in your life.
But it's Ellis' examples that get to your heartstrings. For example, the author writes of a woman whose husband had died in his early forties. Someone asked her about her favorite memory of their life together. After a little thought, she said it was when they were in their twenties.
She had given up her job to get a master's degree, and her husband had encouraged it. In addition to holding down his own job, he also helped with the cooking and cleaning.
Once they stayed up all night together; he was preparing for an important business meeting, and she was writing her thesis. He left for work and she started upstairs to get dressed for the day. She heard the garage door open and close, then open again. From the landing, she watched her husband run back into the living room, go to the dust-covered coffee table and with his finger write, "I love you."
All the memories of their great trips and other experiences paled in comparison to that early morning message.
This is not a religious book, but her choice of scriptures help you feel God's presence throughout. Let's make a difference by living our dash with hope and faith and love.
Contact Nell Mohney at firstname.lastname@example.org.