Ellipsis

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It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. NIV11

You may have seen the famous poem The Dash, by Linda Ellis. It talks about how someday our tombstones will have two dates separated by a dash: the day of our birth and the day of our death. We can t control either of the dates, but it would be wise to give thought to how we live our dash.

As Christians, we understand that life doesn t end at the second date. Rather, that is when we enter the afterlife. To be more accurate, perhaps we should add a dot-dot-dot (called an ellipsis ) at the end. So instead of, 11/7/1918 – 2/21/018, it should look like, 11/7/1918 – 2/21/018

The greatest earthly task that has no eternal value is worthless in comparison to the least significant accomplishment that ripples into eternity. Jesus said in Matthew 5:24, And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. Climbing a mountain, building a canal, or winning a medal, done for earthly gain, is ultimately not as worthwhile as giving a cup of water that brings reward.

It would be wise for us to think that through. What are the things we do here on the earth that ripple into eternity? What lasts? What are the things that have eternal impact or that bring reward from God? The dash is all we have right now, and we should live it well, but to live the dash well, we must live it in light of the ellipsis.


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