Four Weddings and Two Funerals — A Reminder to “Live Your Dash”

Roller coaster! — Yes, a fitting hashtag to capture my past few days! Tears of joy and tears of sorrow flowed freely at the four weddings and two funerals which I officiated. Celebrating new beginnings and mourning life’s endings all compacted in a 96 hour window.

Combined with the normal weekly Community Pastor rhythms of mentoring kids, visiting the elderly, doing life with neighbors, developing pastors/missionaries, leading along side business and city leaders AND sprinkle in a bit of disappointment over a friends challenging health diagnosis, another’s loss of a job and dream, and a few fits of my own self doubt — and well it’s left me a bit soul weary and reflective.

Walking, praying, and writing are all activities I find that help renew my strength and spirit. (and coffee) 🙂

A familiar poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis was read at one of the funeral services. As I reflected on the highs and lows I’ve journeyed these past few days it reminded me of the simple and yet profound truths of what really matters most is this life. Psalm 90:12 says it this way, “Teach us how short our life is, so that we may become wise.” 

Live your dash!


The Dash — by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her casket from beginning to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; Are there things you would like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real

and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash…

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?


Commenting area

  1. Really glad to be living my dash with you guys! My renewals come often by a soft spoken word from a Mustain’s posts! (there are a bunch of you!) Race on brother!

  2. Sharon Mustain April 30, 2018 at 6:29 pm · · Reply

    Great stuff! I love how you can put it all into words.

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