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Have you ever heard the eulogy about the dash? You are born and you die. Those two moments have both great joy and sorrow attached to them. There is the pain during labor and escalates during transition and ecstatic joy as birth arrives. When a loved one passes there is great great sorrow, we will miss them, memories flood, and we reminisce. It is intense heartache. Yet they enter into everlasting joy.

While these two pivotal moments with the essence of life, are the great crescendos, it’s the dash that marks the world in which we live. It’s what you do in the between. We live.

I was raised with horses. We started with ponies, graduated up to mid sized ponies, then my personal favorite, a very tame sweet boy who was the breed of a quarter horse. From there, our family showed horses more and more and got involved in Arabs. We went from Western style riding to English. From one set of reins, to two. From absorbing the bounce as they trot and canter, to posting and going with the motion. If some of this is foreign to you, google has some good explanations :).

It doesn’t matter- the size, type of horse, or even style of riding-what does matter is the day to day, what is called groundwork.

It’s what happens in the middle, the interim, the day to day.

We are assuming here that feeding, watering, brushing, cleaning hooves, and providing shelter are taken care of with the animal. This, too, technically could be considered groundwork.

Groundwork is by definition work that is preparation for work to be done later.

With a horse these are the types of things like walking the horse, leading them around and they follow, lunging, and backing up. It is literally work you do with them while remaining on the ground. No riding.


There are these pivotal and great moments, the crescendos of life that determine a direction. Some of these, the most important ones would be what comes to mind that has an affect on you if you were to write out a timeline. They can be good things like marriage, the day you surrendered your life to Christ, graduation, children, and promotions. They can also be traumatic things or places that bring you to rock bottom such as trauma, loss, injustice, broken heart, unfulfilled expectations etc.

What happens in between is your dash or the groundwork for life.

Love to the unlovely


Joy for others accomplishments








Walking forward


Enjoying moments

Talking to God

Care for others



The list is endless. My bent created those first thoughts above in living out the day to day. It changes, but it’s daily.

Here are a few of God’s groundworks, yes he has them as well.

Carries our burdens Ps 68:19

Always with you Matt 28:20

Eternal life John 3:16

Prays for us Rom 8:26

He protects you Is 54:17

Another way to put it:


The best athletes in the world have to stretch, warm up, work out-daily. Have you seen the football players on the sidelines bicycling, throwing, kicking the ball to keep loose and practice right up until the moment they are in the game?

Stretch your muscles, feed your organs, take care of your protective covering. Do your own daily groundwork….spiritually, for you soul, and of course your physical body.

Working it,

Keys to Whole Living

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