Just A Dash
TThe little boy was munching happily a chocolate
bar and at the same time, he had tears in
his eyes. I wondered why and so I asked him
what was wrong with the chocolate. He replied:
"Nothing wrong with the chocolate but
I know that the more I eat of it, the smaller
This is an image of life. The more we live,
the less we shall live! The more time passes,
the closer we are to death. Birth is our
first step to death.
So the vital question will always be one,
"What the heck are we doing here? What
are we living for?"
Perhaps many of us never bother to ask this
question. And definitely very few know how
to answer correctly. We just live. We just
meander around. Strange that many do not
know where we are heading towards.
The famous English author G.K. Chesterton
was on a train when the conductor came over
for the tickets. Chesterton was known for
his absent mindedness. He started searching
all over his pockets but he could not find
the ticket. Realizing that he was becoming
agitated, the conductor tried to calm him
down. "Don't worry, sir, about it. I
will pass by later on."
"You don't understand," replied
the famous writer. "I am not worried
about the ticket. I just cannot recall where
I am going! The destination is written on
Saint Philip was insightful. One day, meeting
a student, the following conversation ensued.
"What are you studying?" asked
the saint. "I am studying law to become
an attorney." "And then?"
"Then I will build a career, acquire
lots of money, get married, have children…"
"And then?" "Then I will have
my mind at rest for when I become old."
"And then?" "What do you mean
'and then'? I don't know! Then I shall die."
"And then?" the saint insisted.
The young man remained silent staring at
him. "You can't build your life for
this world only", concluded Saint Philip.
"There is an eternity which you should
be mindful of. There is a God whom you need
to serve. There is a soul you need to save…"
A priest from Hawaii once gave me poem called
'Dash'. It spoke of a woman who stood up
to give a eulogy for her friend. She referred
to the two dates that were to be placed on
the tombstone. First came the date of her
birth and then the date of her passing away.
Then she made her point - what matters most
of all in life is the dash between those
years. The dash represents all the time that
she spent alive on earth.
It matters not - she said, how much we own,
the cars, the house, the cash. What matters
is how we live that dash.
A tourist entered into the small room Rabbi
Hofetz Kaim lived. He was somewhat taken
aback when he saw that all the Rabbi possessed
were a table, a chair and the Torah. "Rabbi,
where is your furniture?" asked the
tourist. "My furniture? Where is your
furniture?" replied the Rabbi.
"Mine? I am just a tourist here. I am
just passing by…" "So am I…"
concluded the Rabbi.
When we come to grasp depth of this statement,
we shall start living!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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