Punctuation is so underrated.
You will of course have first hand knowledge of this fact if you have ever tried to read anything of importance without the use of punctuation because you will know what a daunting task that can be due to the total inability to utilize verbiage to its fullest measure without being able to punctuate such verbiage appropriately.
Did you get that?
Nah, me neither.
In my frequent “stare into space” moments, which I often have when I’m alone with nothing to do, I occasionally have random questions which pop into my head demanding important answers. One such question posed itself to me today, “If your life could be summed up by a punctuation mark, what kind of punctuation mark would you want to be?” Well, of course, you know I needed a second glass of sweet tea to think that one through; so, while sipping on my lemony sweet mixture, I began to contemplate the answer to such a vital question.
An exclamation point, perhaps? There seems to be such passion in an exclamation point! I would demand the attention of everyone in the room! The readers of my life would be captured by my raw emotions as I delivered every message I wanted heard! However, I fear that such strong words of stirred-up emotions would eventually become overly dramatic, their meaning falling onto deaf ears and glazed-over eyes, and slowly dilute the message of my life into being labeled by onlookers as insignificant and boastful. I know that drawing attention to MYSELF and MY life is not of utmost importance, and I fear that, eventually, my words and my life would gradually lose all credibility and significance! No! My life should never be about MY importance!!!
How about a dash? Now, this little mark has potential! It’s not that it has a greater purpose than any of the other marks; rather, it actually tends to complement my personality a bit more. For, whenever a dash appears, it stops, in mid-sentence, whatever has been stated before it in order to insert a very important change of thought, and that is soooo me! I don’t have one single thought — I have many conglomerated thoughts which occasionally form a single point, but I seldom have just one thought. Frequently, I will begin in one direction and then quickly change to another. I admit I struggle with fluidity. However, the good news is, I don’t just apply my struggle to my own life, I also apply it to others’ lives, as well — never allowing anyone to finish a single thought due to my sudden and frequent interruptions! (I even have a friend who tells me that he is going to start addressing me as “Yeah, but –” because I always have a good reason why I can’t follow the first part of any thought or idea.) So, that’s it!!! I will be a dash! But, wait — is that really what I want to be? My fear with this is that I would forever be inconsistent. If I am to truly live a life of purpose and meaning, wouldn’t I have to be consistent and steadfast in my path? If “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways,” wouldn’t that mean that my life would be wasted on instability? No, a dash is out. I want my life to count!
Oh, I’ve got it … what about a question mark??? What would the world be without question marks? They bring vitality and interest. When you think you’ve got all the answers, then along comes a question mark of brilliance to humble your know-it-all frame of mind. No boredom with question marks because they always bring about the possibilities of change. Oh, my heart begins beating faster! Have I found my answer? Do I want my life to be a question mark? Would I always feel the excitement of wondering about the unknown? Would I choose to live each moment in utter abandon? Uh — would I find myself someday relying only upon what I could feel with my own touch and see with my own eyes? Would I grow impatient with not having the answers to anything? Would I begin to fear due to a lack of being able to trust in anything or anyone because I could never really be able to let go of my search to fathom the unfathomable? Would I ever learn to “Let go and let GOD?” Do I truly want to forever search for the answer without ever finding the answer???
A period it is then. Hmmm! Now this one has my name written all over it. Short. Direct. Unmoving. Never questioning. Question Mark asks: “Can you lead me to what? where? when? and how?” And Period replies, “Yes, I can.” I would have all the answers!!! I would establish fact. Nobody and nothing could question me. I would be a god! I would be — but, wait! I don’t want to be a god. I am not the master of my own fate. I am the created, not the Creator!!!! May GOD grant me to never become so unyielding in my life as to lean upon my own understanding. May GOD grant me the grace to always realize that my days have been determined upon this earth by HIM and not that I have determined my days. No … a period must always be left in the hands of the Almighty Creator and Sustainer.
There is a simple mark left behind. It has not been discussed with all the others. It does not stand out in a crowd. It never questions. And it never determines the answer. It does not separate by leaving one direction behind in order to spring to the next one. It merely sits quietly and holds the hands of those around it, establishing a link which binds the two independent strongholds together. It takes totally separate mindsets and uniquely bonds them together with fidelity. It does not create integrity, but it upholds it. Without it, life does not make as much sense as it does with it; for, it complements the meaning of all it accompanies. Yes, it seems that I have found the wonderful punctuation mark that I hope will forever sum up my life. May GOD always permit me, through HIS life in me, to be faithful in linking the cause of Christ to the lost and dying generations of this world — not by holding hands with them in uniformity, but by standing in the gap of prayer and witness for them of the Savior who died for all.
Yes … if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather be a comma.