Time RuinsOctober 09, 2016
I've visited structures in the United States that are a few hundred years old. People are really excited because the stuff is really old.
Or kind of old. Or not really old at all.
Today in Jordan (day three), I saw lots of old stuff. Not colonial U.S. old. Not even European cathedral old. Not even just ancient Roman and Greek ruins old. I saw statutes that some people living in this region made about 9,500 years ago.
Nine. Thousand. Five. Hundred. Years. Ago.
I can't even fathom how long ago that occurred. Thinking about 9,500 years ago spins my head almost as much as thinking about the length of eternity. I can kind of grasp the concept of a century and how long it might feel like, but add another 94 centuries and it's just an abstract number.
I saw human remains that are several thousand years old, pottery still intact that is several thousand years old, unbroken glass vessels that are a few thousand years old, and Dead Sea scroll fragments that are two thousand years old. How does anything last long, especially pottery or glass or scrolls?
In the U.S., we often seem impatient with another minute waiting at a stoplight. Or find ourselves struggling with how slowly it takes a few months to tick away as we look forward to a special event or birthday (or trip to Jordan).
When will the election finally be over? When will Christmas finally come? When will school finally be out? Will the dentist finally finish working on my teeth?
And all of this, all of these thousands of years I learned about today whiz by for our timeless God. It's not abstract for God, and it's not a long time.
"With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8)
Just last week, this city of Amman was known as Rabbath Ammon (in the time of the Old Testament). I saw a cave from the time of Abraham and Sarah from that time. A couple days later it was rebranded Philadelphia (in the time of the New Testament). Some ruins remain. And they seem old. At least to us. I walked around those structures made in "ancient" times from rocks created by the Ancient of Days. I felt young and small. I felt awe.
You can see more photos from day three in Jordan here.