You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16

Several years ago my family took a camping trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. One of the things we enjoyed doing was exploring several ‘ghost towns’ that remained from the now defunct copper mining era at the beginning of the 20th century.

On one particular excursion we came across a pioneer cemetery. It was interesting walking among the markers of those who once lived in the area. Some of the epitaphs on the markers gave us some insight into what life might have been like back then. Some were humorous, others insightful, and still others were simply a name.

Each of those markers had one thing in common, however. Each had a beginning date, and end date and a dash in between. Some of those dates spanned years, some spanned only a few months. One in particular caught our eye as it only had a few hours. But in between each of the dates symbolizing time past was that dash.

The dash was the same size as any other dash and for the most part looked the same, yet the story behind the dash was different I’m sure. Some of those dashed symbolized a life well-lived. The life of a business person, a much loved family member, a community leader.

Other dashes represented men and women who sacrificed their lives for this nation; those who struggled with addictions and mental health issues; those who labored their entire lives yet never seemed to get ahead; those who were abused and neglected; those whose lives were marked by turmoil and health issues.

The thing is, the dash looked the same. Those names symbolized a life of memories. Memories, to me are like pixie dust. Pixie dust is always there, we just don’t always see it. Sometimes it appears and sparkles, causing us to smile. Sometimes it appears as a speck in our eye and causes a tear. But it’s always there. Always reminding us of times past.

Another thing about those dates? Like us, the person that was symbolized by those stones had no control over the beginning date or the end date. Those were determined by a loving God who ordains each day of our lives.

While we don’t have control of our beginning date or our end date, we can make the most of our dash! Jesus tells us a simple way to make that happen. Love your neighbor. Loving others doesn’t mean agreeing with them. Loving others doesn’t mean you allow them to harm you, or themselves if possible.

The best way to love others is to begin with living a life empowered with a God that doesn’t just love, but IS LOVE. Every day you are spreading some pixie dust along your dash. Let Jesus help you make the most of that dash of life.