Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 (NRSV)
Beginning . . . Ending. We all have both. Between these bookmarks of life, there is an in-between space. This span of life and time between birth and death is sometimes called the “dash,” a term popularized by Linda Ellis’ poem of the same name.
None of us chooses to be born. Most of us do not choose when to die. But in the in-between or dash space of life, we do have options about the way we live. The choices we make determine how we are known and will be remembered.
How do you choose to live the dash of your life?
We each can choose to hoard and covet “things” and to glorify our success as the sole result of our efforts. We have the option of focusing exclusively on ourselves and of nursing loneliness, anger, grudges, tensions, and misery. We can choose to hold onto past failures, mistakes, guilt, shame, and hardships. And we can prefer to ignore God’s active presence in our lives and in the world.
Or, in the words of the writer of Hebrews, we can choose to live the dash of our lives pleasing and glorifying God.
This happens when we do “good.” In Jesus Christ God calls us to “share” God’s love, grace, peace, hospitality, joy, laughter, forgiveness, encouragement and hope. God rejoices when we recognize that Jesus, the Risen Christ, is alive and with us from beginning to end and in every moment in between to offer us a new perspective and a different path to follow.
It is liberating to know that nothing can wedge us out of God’s love. This should inspire us to be passionate about respecting others, offering a caring hand to others, reconnecting with others and striving to build and nurture life-affirming relationships.
We are known and will be remembered by others and God by how we live during the dash of life and the people who are changed because of the way we do.