On this day, November 27th, my birthday, I woke up in my right mind, I think, understanding that I have less time to live than ever before. As prophetic as that sounds, it is very true. However, I am so very grateful because I received a very special blessing, which was the gift of life. As I sat with a cup of java reflecting upon my journey, to this point, I am humbled by the many blessings I’ve received. I was born with nothing at a time when hope was a concept that was an unrealistic ideal for people of my hue. Yet, today I bare witness to a reality I never thought could happen – a Black Man as President - from the outhouse to the Whitehouse, as Jesse would say.
As I sit peacefully thinking about the phenomena that is my “Dash” I can only say Amen. What I mean by the “Dash” is this: on my final marker, like yours, there will be a beginning date, a dash, and an end date inscribed on the stone. In other word, the whole of my life will be contained within a tiny little “Dash”. As I continue to recount the time God has granted me, I subconsciously think about my mortality. Asking myself the ultimate question, if today was my last day, have invested enough equity into the contents of my “Dash”. For I know judgment will be based upon the work I’ve done.
During this wonderful journey I have endured mountains, milestones, and valleys that I have come to understand were not obstacles rather stepping stones that has made me stronger, in some cases whole, and surely a man. My life has not been unlike that of any other man, although challenging at times, the answer to those challenges was to have the will to survive and that means being accountable for life on life’s terms, and of course understanding that I have no control over life’s terms.
Life’s lessons have taught me that I can never plan the future by the past, which leads me to conclude that I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. To live has only one purpose and that is reality. With that said, I thought these words were very appropriate to describe the rest of my life. I have only just a minute, sixty seconds in it, I did not choose it, can’t refuse it; it is up to me to use it, just a tiny little minute, but an eternity in it.
I am keenly aware that I stand on the shoulders of the ghost of many greats whose inspiration, courage, and motivation humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that their example enriched my soul before they made their transition into the kingdom of heaven. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear their gentle voices reciting these words: “Fear not for we are with you.”
So I ask you, if someone were to tell the story concealed within your dash. What might they say?
Author of "Just a Season"