The other day I sat at the cemetery looking at a stone. Stratton. 1879-1955. It was silent, the sun was beginning to set over the huge pine trees that surround that end of the cemetery. The stone was a smaller stone set in front of another, and read "His wife." I sat a good long time staring at that stone. 1955. Before my time. Before my dad's time, even. That night Mrs. Stratton died, people were partying. There were people crying. There was a woman giving birth. There were people living. But she died. She's gone, her body is silent in the ground. She was 15 just like I was once. She probably went to school, she married, probably had kids. And you know what, all that's left is a dash on her stone. Maybe when you die there will be fragile memories that linger in the minds of those you leave behind. Maybe you will have helped a few people. But they all die too. Who ever thinks about this woman? Maybe in your lifetime you've made an invention or done something that touches the lives of others. But you know what, they all die! They'll all be stone cold in the ground.
I sat a good long time staring at that stone.
What are you doing with your dash? 1 Timothy 4:7b-8 says "...[R]ather, train yourselves to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
A friend who isn't a Christian asked me one day what Romans 6:23 said, and he had to give me the first few words for me to remember which verse it was. If you don't have it and the reference memorized, I challenge you as a reader to memorize it this week.