The dash on a tombstone represents a lifetime: How you live in 2020 will add to your “dash”?

The dash on a tombstone represents a lifetime: How you live in 2020 will add to your “dash”?

As you walk through a cemetery, glancing at the tombstones erected in memory of those who are buried there, you’ll notice one glaring similarity amongst each one: regardless of the name and epitaph, there is a dash separating the person’s date of birth and their date of passing. This dash represents the entirety of their life. It contains their dreams and goals, successes and failures, a life well-lived versus a life of missed opportunities. The dash on a person’s tombstone can mean everything or nothing.

With 2019 behind us and a new chapter of our lives titled, “2020” waiting to be written, each of us has the opportunity to increase the significance and memories of our “dash”. Sandwiched between January 1 and December 31 are twelve exciting, unlived months of opportunities. We will face challenges brought on by change. We will be pushed out of our comfort zones and required to respond. We can do so with hope and optimism or with resentment and pessimism. Either response will leave a lasting imprint on how friends and family will view your “dash”.

As we kick-off a new year, below are 3 principles that I use to increase the positive significance of my “dash”:

Principle #1: Love

Love God with your entire being. Love everyone, not just those who are like you or agree with you…but everyone!

Principle #2: Humility

Stay humble. Listen and learn

Principle #3: Boldness

Get off the couch and boldly welcome the fresh challenges that come with each new day.

Living out these 3 principles will most likely require some type of adjustment or change in our lives. Let’s commit ourselves to meeting these challenges head-on, because it is through accepting the challenges of change that we grow, knowing that none of us can control the length of our lives, just the depth.

Doug Boyd is senior pastor for Parkside Fellowship located at 5755 SW Erickson Ave in Beaverton. Call (503) 646-4455 or find out more by visiting parksidefellowship.org. Photo by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash