Life Happens Between The Dates

It’s guest post Monday!!! This post is from Bernard Haynes is a blogger who blogs at Lead to Impact. Make sure to check out his blog and connect with him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to be featured on the Guest Post Monday please click here.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”  James 4:14

Are you living the life God designed you to live? I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on my current life and what I want my legacy to be. I’ve been allowing myself to envision a better present and an even greater future without constraint. I know who God purposed me to be and what He has called me to do.

At the beginning of this year I asked myself, “What can I do to position myself to live the life God designed for me?”

A time of reflection

Recently, I have been reflecting on how quickly time passes. I couldn’t help but to think about the life of my father. A little over five years ago, I suddenly lost my father. I was reflecting on some of the good times we shared together as father and son. That moment of reflection brought tears to my eyes because I truly miss my father and it also reminded me how precious each moment of life is.

As I was thinking about the life of my father, I couldn’t help but smile. He impacted so many lives with his uncanny ability to never meet a stranger. It did not matter the color of your skin, how much money you had or didn’t have or what side of the tracks you came from, he would converse with anyone.

To this day, I have people tell me what a positive effect my father had on their lives. He lived life to the fullest. Even in times of struggle and challenges that had to frustrate and discourage him, I never saw him quit. He lived his life between the dates.

What is the dash?

The dash is the mark on a gravestone that separates a person’s beginning date from their ending date. The dash is small in size and looks somewhat insignificant, but in actuality it represents great significance because it indicates the life that was lived.

When I think about my father, I am proud to say that he lived between the dates. He did not have everything he wanted nor did he accomplish everything he desired, but he approached life with a vibrant attitude. He left a legacy of living life the best you can with the resources you have.

The choice is yours

Our life is bigger than what we do today, tomorrow or even twenty-five years from now. I don’t know about you, but I want my dash between the dates to represent a powerful legacy. I am talking about a powerful legacy that will leave an inheritance to my children’s children and future generations after them. Everything we do in this present life will be passed on to our future generations. So what are you leaving behind?

You choose how you live between your dates by the actions you take today, tomorrow and the years to come. Every day is a new canvas to paint the picture of how you want to be remembered in your dash. When you get to the end of your life what story will your dash tell?

You can start today by stepping out in faith and follow the vision that God has put in your heart. Every second, minute, hour and day that you live in your dash is an opportunity to sow seeds of hope for future generations.

Question: What will your dash say after you are gone? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Bernard, thanks for the marvelous post. I am once again reminded of my responsibility to do excellently what I am called to do today so that I can leave a blessed inheritance for my future generations. Dan, this is truly a great guest post.

    • Joe, I believe that you are carrying out your responsibility of fulfilling your God designed vision. Keep doing what you do and future generations will be tremendously blessed.

  • Hopefully that dash says at I made a positive impact in the lives of everyone I met and helped push them at least one step closer to a deeper relationship with Christ.

    • If you live your life the way Christ designed, your dash will no doubt will let everyone know that you left a positive impact on the lives of everyone that God connected you to, whether you knew them or not.

      • That is what I seek to do everyday, Bernard. Sometimes I get caught up in the regular life responsibilities, but every time I see one of the students in my ministry get closer to Christ, it reminds me that I am doing what God has called me to do. Great post today!

        • I am glad that you are impacting young people lives. I visited your site and you are doing some great things. I will add you, your ministry and business. I know that God is going to use you in even greater ways to ignite our young people to become great leaders for Christ.

  • This post is beautiful!

    I remember a similar conversation I had with someone when I was 21. We were talking about the dash and what it represents and the legacy we want to leave behind when we’ve passed.

    Every day I am reminded how short life is. To be honest, I don’t know what I want my ‘dash’ to look like & sometimes I don’t think I’m doing much with my life at all to leave any kind of legacy behind.

    What I do know is that God put me here with a purpose and every day I am striving towards it. God has me right where He wants me and He is using me where I am.

    Life isn’t about ‘bigger’ and ‘better’, being famous, or even being noticed. For me, I think life is living simply with the gifts God has given us. More importantly, I think it’s about loving others, encouraging them, and imitating Christ in everything we do.

    Life ‘in between’ is faith amplified.

    • Thanks for the comment Julie. When we walk by faith our life will be amplified to present the picture of love that Christ wants us to present. Keep letting Him use you to magnify Him.

  • powerful post! It goes nicely with my post today about work and faith.

    We are not promised tomorrow so we can’t put off what we need to do or what we are called to do for tomorrow. We must between the dash now!

    My father too lived vivaciously between the dash, he was bold. He didn’t achieve everything he set out to do, he was far from perfect but no one can say he let life pass him by.

    • T.C., I will have to check out that post. Thanks for the comment.

      • Look forward to your insight!
        Again, great post today, thank you!

    • Today’s the best day to start “living between the dash.” Thank you for sharing and I’m looking forward to reading your post.

      • Great guest post! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Fantastic post, yes life happens between the dates, so enjoy the journey, laugh, cry, learn, rest and in the end that dash should exists and point to something with purpose.
    M_

    • Thanks Marc. That is exactly what I am doing is enjoying the journey.

    • It’s so important to “enjoy the journey.” We have to work hard but we also need to have fun along the way. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great stuff, Bernard. Life flies by quicker than we realize. We’ve got to number our days and make the best use of today. The dash will be over before we know it!

    • Thanks Loren. You are correct. I can’t believe how fast time goes by. We have to make a conscious decision to live our best life because if we don’t, we will look around and it will be too late.

    • So true Loren. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • This is a wonderful tribute to your dad. He sounds a lot like mine was. The first thing that came to mind when finishing this is, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

    We have the free will or choice to live that verse out, it’s about perspective I think. The dash between the dates is the journey, the beginning and ending don’t matter near as much as the race and how it’s ran in between.

    Thanks to you and Dan for the thought provoking post.

    • Thanks Floyd. Your dad must have been a great man that impacted a lot of lives. You are the right the ‘dash’ is the journey. The key is how are we going to live our journey. The choice is yours.

  • The dash is such a powerful revenue because as it represents our life we need to make that period meaningful. Bernard we get caught up in the day to day and forget we are living our dash. I can only turn to God for guidance and I hope that I’m able to change lives as well. Thank you for this post.

    • Lincoln, you are right. We get caught up in busyness of life and lose sight of the real meaning of living. When we turn God for direction, He will show us the path to take.

  • One of the main reasons for me to chase my dreams is to leave not only a financial legacy but a legacy of not settling and pursuing your dreams. When I’m gone I want to have a legacy of never quitting and always getting back up when I fall. Great post Bernard.

    • Thanks for the comment Kimanzi. You are leaving a great legacy my friend.

  • This is a great reminder. I am continually trying to live my life as God wants me to, and leave an impact. Great post!

    • Thanks Tammy. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • Tammy,

      I think most true Christians are striving to live a life in a God direction. Keep seeking God and pushing toward your God given purpose and I know you will leave a lasting legacy. Thank you for stopping by.

  • DS

    Thanks for the post – I lost my dad this year at the end of May. Father’s Day was different. I too hope to leave a legacy, and an image of a father my children will fondly remember.

    • Thanks for the comment DS. I am sorry to hear about your lost. I will be in prayer that you move forward in your vision and leave a legacy that will impact lives for generations.

    • Sorry to hear that. I lost my father ten years ago and it’s always harder during holidays like Fathers Day. Keep your head up though:)

  • Bernard Haynes

    I would like to thank Mr. Dan Black for allowing me to guest post on his powerful blog. It has been a great experience interacting with all the individuals that left comments.

    • Your welcome Bernard. Thank you for being on top of replying to the comments and leading the discussion. I appreciate you:)

  • I want the dash to say that I pursued hard after God and His purpose for me.

    Great post

    • Bernard Haynes

      Thanks for the comment. If you keep doing what you are doing, your dash will speak your pursuit of God’s purpose for your life loud and clear. I will pray for your continued pursuit of God’s purpose for you.

    • Amen, same with me Ngina.

  • Love the reminder about the temporary standing of this life! But a vapor indeed- let’s make it count.

    • It’s good to be reminded about the importance of life and using it well. Bernard did a great job with this post. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Thanks for the comment Stephen. I am going to make the rest of my life count.

  • Juan Cruz Jr

    I’ve been working on that “dash” for the last several years. I too want my life to counts for something. I’ve heard it once – or twice – said it doesn’t matter what you receive, but only what you gave. I want my “dash” to be a life of servitude to God and others.

    • Thanks for the comment Juan. If you keep living your “dash” the way God designed for you then you will leave a legacy that will impact future generations. You are in my prayers.