Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Space between the Dash

The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For soon it is cut off, and we fly away. ~ Psalm 90: 10


There is a poem called "The Dash" written by Linda Ellis about how our lives can be reduced to a certain amount of time between two dashes, two dates on an endless stretch called eternity. The point of the poem is to challenge the reader to make the most of the "dash" they have between the two dates.

Within the space of one month, to the day, a new grandchild was born, and an elderly uncle died on the date of his parents 88th wedding anniversary. I remember Mom telling me many years ago that I "had my whole life in front of me."

No longer. I am glad to be in creeping middle age, but I do notice a change. Yet I have had millions of thoughts, and thousands of experiences by now. I've had thousands of times to get mad, thousands of times to cry, and on and on. The other day I was struck by a verse I've read many times before, just realizing what it could really mean. In fact, it was the way that the Apostle Paul signed off on most or all of his letters:

"Brethren the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen" Gal. 6:18

His grace is always available, ready instantly for me to avail myself of it. The fact is that God Almighty has favor for every situation I have to endure for the rest of my life. Spiros Zodhiates says this of the word charis, #5485 in the Greek Lexicion: 

"joy, favor, acceptance, a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, gratitude, grace. A favor done without expectation of return; absolute freeness of the lovingkindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and freeheartedness of the Giver, unearned and unmerited favor. Charis stands in direct antithesis to erga, works, the two being mutually exclusive. (page 1739 Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible, AMG Publishers, 1986.

Charis, yes THAT is available and ready at a moment's notice for the dash between my own two dates. So really, what excuse do I have for not taking it? 

Just as I wrote this, a lying thought crept in, "Oh, another blog post. Here you go again." No! His grace is with my spirit even now, in the middle of the afternoon doldrums,  in the midst of a hot July day. What excuse do I have for refusing it? What excuse do any of us have to not grab hold of charis available to be with our spirits 24/7/365?

I wrote in my journal on July 9-- "Let not today be a day of futility." Lord, help me to make the most of the dash that will be known as my life one day in the not too distant future.


  1. Interesting post. Time is life...we must make the most of it.

  2. Thank you Christiana for stopping by and commenting.

    God Bless You.