What Does Your "DASH" Say About You?
I had a date with my wife today. We went to the cemetery. I know what a guy I am huh? I gotta tell you though, it was so neat to walk with my wife as we looked at tombstones. You might be asking, what in the world were you doing that for? Glad you asked. I was inspired in reading Moses' final hike up Mt Pisgah as recorded in Deut. 34 to say goodbye to this world after a life of serving the Lord. I was inspired as I thought about everything this man had seen, been a part of and what kind of legacy he left behind. What would it have been like to stand at the top of this Mtn. at the age of 125, face to face with God, looking out at the land God had created? I got to thinking about what his tombstone would read? Inspired by this, I decided to take a drive down to the cemetery and walk around and view the tombstones of those that came before me. All I can say is wow! If these stones could talk. When we read inscriptions on the stones, all of them have a story behind them. Sometimes they leave us inspired, sometimes bring laughter, sometimes sadness. One that we came across didn't have anything written on it. Yes, there is even a story behind those too. In researching some on line, I found these that you may find interesting: One tombstone in Georgia reads, "I told you I was sick!" :) Or the one in England: "Sir John Strange Here lies an honest lawyer And that is Strange." I saw two here locally that were months a part with a dear family that lost not one but two children at the tender age of a few months old. Lots of emotion reading those. And what about the WWII, Korean War, as well as Vietnam? Wow, to be able to talk with these guys. Every single stone told a story beyond what we could comprehend. As Carol and I walked and then stopped and looked out at history ranging from the early 1800's to as late as May 2012, we thought, wow, think of all the history and stories behind each of these people. It brought up an old thought and that is what does the "dash" between my born and passing date, say about me? What legacy will I leave behind? It reminded me of the line from "Saving Private Ryan" where Private Ryan pays his respects to Captain Miller at his tombstone. He recalled his Captain, right before his last breath, saying to him "earn this". Private Ryan, in paying his respects turns to his wife with great emotion says, "Tell me I've been a good man." With that in mind, I told my wife while driving home, "I hope I leave a good legacy behind." And she said in only a way my wife can say, "you already have". Then it hit me, that's true, our legacy is not something that we wait until the end of our life to develop. It starts right here and right now. The way I deal with trouble that comes my way, the way I make my amends when I wrong someone, hurt someone’s feelings, swallow my pride, apologize to my kids and admit when I am wrong starts my legacy for my kids, wife and friends today. It is interesting that there was not one tombstone that read, "He made so much money" "He/She cleaned the house so well" He made straight A's in school" or "He was the smartest in our whole neighborhood." No, instead I read on tombstones, "The best mom and dad ever in the whole wide world." or "I love you a little more yesterday, and a little less than tomorrow". I love the quote from Tom Brokaw, it reads “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”I am inspired today to think about my dash. Am I making a difference in others life with the right motive? Is Christ living in me and working through me to bring glory to Himself? Am I more concerned with making myself famous or well known or bringing His name into the spot light? I am convinced now more than ever that if the latter is true in my walk, I will be the husband I need to be, the dad God has called me to be, the friend and servant He commands me to be, the brother He has inspired me to be, when I seek the God and Father so graciously given to me. Start your legacy today friend. Start by doing the next right thing and give glory to the Father in all things, sweeping the floor, checking out someone at the store, stocking shelves, cleaning toilets, changing diapers, washing the dishes, making money, paying your bills, admitting our mistakes, not being afraid to admit when we are wrong, and walking in humility in all things. What would your dash say if it were to end today? Let’s start making the changes today and leave a eternal legacy that brings glory to our Father. If you get a chance, take a walk thru a cemetery and get a sense of rich history and story. Rodney If you would like information about Celebrate Recovery, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or firstname.lastname@example.org