In this day and age of advanced medical technology, we are living longer and stronger lives. I heard in a recent television advertisement that 40 is the new 30. I like the way that sounds, but the older I get, the more I like to think 50 is the new 30. The way things are looking, I’m not so sure my outward appearance is going to keep pace with that youthful zest made possible with all that technology.

I’ve got 100 years at best. In my younger days, getting old seemed like it would take forever. The days seemed to drag along. Would I ever become a teenager? How long until I could be trusted behind the steering wheel of a car? Would I ever get through finals and settle on a college major? When would I find the love of my life and that dream job I always wanted? Would we have one, two or a dozen kids? How long until the kids start counting the days until they move out, and I start checking the status of my nest egg?

Pretty much sums it up doesn’t it? The minute we are born, we start dying. The time between the day we are born and the day we die is referred to on tombstones as the dash. This little symbol of life is a simple reminder that in the end, it is what you do with the dash that counts.

I can’t think of too many things that are great about knowing you have a terminal illness. Hearing you only have a matter of time seems so final. What happened to the life you hoped to live? Things were moving along so well, and then life changed in a matter of seconds. The future dims, and every minute starts to count.

If a silver lining is to be found, perhaps this is it. Living like there is no tomorrow is the key to getting the most out of the dash. We act like we are going to live forever. The truth is, we are all going to die. No doubt this was on Solomon’s mind when he wrote, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.” Not the most pleasant representation on life, but he does make his point. In the end, these earthly bodies wear out and make for pretty good potting soil.

Praise be to God, the dash is not the end for believers in Jesus Christ. No amount of top soil is going to keep this ole boy from getting a new body and a new lease on life when Gabriel blows his horn. I’m looking forward to life eternal. I look forward to dashing out of here and praising the Lord all the day long. But until then, I think I will live like there is no tomorrow.