“Living the Dash” (the dash represents the time span of time between birth and death). From the outside I look pretty healthy, but you know the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. You see, I suffer from a rare brain disease called “frontotemporal dementia” or “Picks disease”. This disease attacks the frontal lobe of the brain which controls your emotions, social skills, language, behavior, short term memory, and many other learned behaviors. Life span for someone with this disease is 2-5 years.
Well, as you can imagine this has put a whole new meaning to the rest of my life and that tiny little thing called the “dash”, because there is no medical cure, the cure would have to come from Christ. GOD has opened my eyes about something we all have in common and we don’t realize it at all and we take it for granted. You may ask yourself what is he talking about? Today could be the day when I have my physical death, and you could too. What could we say about our “dash” and what it represents. Yes, you see every dash represents something. I have had to question myself on whether I have done what God wanted me to do, or have I done what the world wanted me to do. God would have wanted me to “Live completely, Love completely, Live humbly, Live boldly or leave a legacy, and finally did I live life with no regrets”. I can honestly say I failed up until now. “I didn’t live completely, didn’t love completely, didn’t live humbly, didn’t live boldly, and have plenty of regrets”. You know I could have taken the path of struggling through all stages of grief with this disease—shock, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and then acceptance. It seems for some reason I have bypassed all the first steps of grief and went straight to acceptance. This disease will ultimately take my life unless the LORD heals me, which I believe will happen. It dawned on me as I was writing this that GOD’s plan was working as I stand here before you all today.
My faith in JESUS has grown to the level that it should have always been, and now I know that I am required by God’s word that I am expected to “live completely, love completely, live humbly, live boldly, and live the rest of my life with no regrets”. In Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of GOD.” I’m here telling you openly about what my dash looks like, how’s yours? I did not question GOD as to why this has happened to my family and me, rather I have let my faith and trust in GOD grow. In my heart, I know what GOD has in store for me now. It's to give me the strength to deliver a message, and to witness to you that know matter what this world hands you, always trust and believe in God, for He covers us in the palms of His hands, and make your dash through life a remarkable dash. I have taken this tragic event in mine and my family’s life and turned it into a positive. If we have little faith in GOD, then the dash is just a dash. I don’t want to leave this life with my dash meaning nothing.
What my family and I are going through right now is in no comparison to what JESUS went through. He suffered on the cross for sinners like me and you, so we could have everlasting life with Him. I ask you, “If you only knew you had only a one month to live, would you be ready to meet JESUS, would your dash have meaning, would you change your perspective on what time you have left?” This is a question you need to ask yourself right now. You have no do-over’s with this one life you have been given. If you have one ounce of doubt in your heart, then come and get on your knees before God and accept Jesus into your heart before it’s too late. Take a moment and imagine one of the worst things that has ever happened in your life, (ok have you got that one thing in your mind) now if you could magnify the pain it caused by 100%, this would not even compare to the pain you will feel if you don’t have Jesus in your heart when your time here ends (please don’t gamble with your eternity). It took a diagnosis of a rare and terminal brain disease for me to figure out what’s important and make my dash through life mean something. I was 13 years old when I accepted Christ in my heart and then immediately strayed. That would equate to 33 years of my dash wasted. How many years collectively have we all wasted not doing God’s work. Now is the time for us to totally surrender our lives to JESUS. (Before it is just too late.)
Remember what John 3:16 says, “For GOD so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“If you knew you had one month to live, would you know with confidence that your life was “in Christ Jesus” and that you had received the “gift” of eternal life through him. Would you have lived completely, loved completely, lived humbly, lived boldly, and have no regrets. I know now that my “dash” will have had meaning, and physical death does not scare me anymore because I will have an eternity with Christ.
Kevin E. Smiley