By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
Raymond Tomlinson, 74, died in March 2016. He was widely credited as the inventor of modern email. Experts have confirmed that email existed in limited capacity before Tomlinson in that electronic messages could be shared with multiple people in a limited framework. But in 1971, Tomlinson developed the first network person-to-person email, choosing the “@” symbol to connect a user name with a destination address.
The symbol @ connects the person using the email with the destination. It made me stop and think about how every person has a user name, and every person has a destination address. The symbol @ designates our email destination address – but how we live indicates a destination address for our lives, and our destination address at death becomes supremely important.
We don’t like to talk about death, but the death rate for every person is 100%. The Bible says “It is appointed for every person to die” (Heb. 9:27). The Bible also says every person has an eternal destination address. Read John 14:1-6; Matt. 25:31-46. Frightening is someone’s observation “that the fact there is a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers!”
The best symbol I think we could use to connect our user name with our eternal destination address is the “Cross.” It is at the Cross that we have hope for eternal life. It is the only symbol that can assure heaven as our destination address. Read John 1:17-19.
Another symbol that is awfully important for life is the dash. On tombstones you see birth years and death years separated by a dash, such as 1955 – 2016. A person wrote a poem indicating the power of that symbol.
I read of a reverend who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the 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.
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’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left; you could be at “dash mid-range.”
If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real,
For that dash represents all the time she spent alive on earth,
If we treat other people with respect, and more than wear a smile,
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’ve never loved before.
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read with life’s actions to rehash
Would you be pleased with the things they say
about how you spent your dash?
John Ed’s blog posts appear on For His Glory each week.
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