What will you do with your dash?

Do you know your grandparents' first and last names? That’s simple enough. Most people do, but what about your great-grandparents? Let’s take it one step further. Do you know the names of your great-great-grandparents? Very few people know basic information about their great-great grandparents. In fact, these days there is an entire industry for genetic testing and genealogy research. People invest time and money into researching and learning information about their ancestors, those that came before them. Why is it not something that is simply known? Shouldn’t someone want to share their grandparents’ story with their children and children’s children?

The idea that most people do not even know the names of their great grandparents is very sobering. It begins to feel very personal when you consider that, for most people, our own family won't even know our names within a few generations. Take a moment to think about that. What are you doing that's so substantial it could possibly outlive your life? Are you leaving something that others will want to pass on for many generations?

When you look at a tombstone, it has a beginning date and an ending date. Everything that person did, the totality of their life, is summed up with a dash. James 4:14 states, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” How will this small amount of time you have on Earth impact others?

What are you doing with your dash? Are you doing something so substantial with your life that long after you're gone, people will still know your name? How will you affect the lives of those who will follow you? When you’re no longer on this Earth, will you have left such a legacy that people will remember you for generations to come? If not, what will you do to change that?

Geoffrey Nance