Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

The Dash


We were notified that the “2021” had finally been engraved on my wife Tammy’s Mom’s headstone, so we drove over to the cemetery. As I looked at the headstone, I noticed that it rather coldly summed up her life with her birth and death dates, separated simply by a dash. For Jane, that dash represented more than 89 years of life.  During those years, she was a wife, a sister, a nurse, a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She left a wonderful legacy for her family. That got me to thinking about what my dash will represent. What legacy will you or I leave?
Alistair Begg in his devotional book Truth for Life, writes:
Each of us is leaving a legacy. Every day we are adding something to the portrait of our lives, and eventually what we leave behind—our decisions, our contributions, our priorities—will remain, at least for a time, for others to reflect upon and consider.”

As I write this, I have been retired for almost five years and am now 66 years old. My father, who outlived his father, lived to the age of 84. None of us know how many more minutes, days or years that we have left to live. Although it’s not healthy to think of it, we are all just one red light run or medical diagnosis away from the date to the right of the dash. If I outlive my father, I might have twenty more years to live. That is a sobering thought.
The Lord has equipped me as a leader (in the workplace and church) and also theologically (at Covenant Seminary). How can I use the Lord’s equipping to bring Him the most glory in the time I have left? It’s something I think of often.
Pastor Begg helpfully tells us that we should:
“Do the work God has prepared for you to do and make a difference for Him. After all, we never know when we’ve just made our final deposit in the legacy we’re leaving.”
I want to be “used up” for Christ in the time I have left. I long to have the legacy that Begg writes of below:
“A legacy of faithfulness, godliness, kindness, gentleness, honesty, integrity, love, and peace is a legacy that will be remembered with affection. But most importantly, it will point people to the one whose life matters most—the Lord Jesus.”
Have you thought about the legacy you are leaving? How will you be remembered for your dash?

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

4 thoughts on “The Dash

  1. Thanks for the reminder about the DASH! With my 80th birthday behind me, I have become more purposeful of letting go of “stuff” that requires my time and energy and that leaves me more time to look for God’s hand in all of my life circumstances – not just the ones that bring joy but the unexpected times that God brings peace during tough times!

  2. Great post Bill. Very sobering.

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