Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time Capsule

We had to replace two broken stair treads on one of our staircases yesterday. We've never done work like this before but we're learning by doing many small jobs that need to be done to an old house. Our oldest son Benjamin was helping us and once the broken treads were removed he decided to squeeze through the opening to see what was under the stairs. He found treasure! He found old newspapers which had been stuck to the underside of each tread by wall paper. Someone had intentionally put the newspapers there so someone would find them.

 Although our house was built in 1848, it was, like a lot of old houses, built in pieces. The newspapers we found were dated 1892 so we know that section of the house was added then. Benjamin carefully separated the pieces and brushed off the dust so we could read the papers. Sir John MacDonald was alive and speaking in the House of Commons. One advertisement told the reader that if they used their product they would have a beautiful head of hair like Queen Victoria. There were obituaries and marriage announcements. There were grocers' price lists and stories. It was like finding a time capsule. One of the papers was from San Francisco, thousands of miles away from Nova Scotia.

Someone had purposely put the newspapers there so that some day in the far off future someone would know something about the world they lived in. How I wish they had written a note to tell us who they were and what they were like, but they didn't. They probably didn't think we'd be interested in their lives, but I am. I would love to know more about the people who are tied to me simply because we chose the same house. How different were their lives from mine? Did they like looking out at the apple trees while they did their housework like I do? On hot summer days did they sit in their shade?

I told Benjamin that we should have put a note in the staircase so that someday someone will know we were here. We still have to replace one stair tread on the other staircase and we plan to do that. I want to leave a picture there and a note telling whoever finds it what we were like and who we were. I want to leave something behind.

So many people are searching for their fifteen minutes of fame so that they'll be remembered when all it takes is to leave a story behind. I love listening to my father tell stories of our ancestors who lived so long ago. People I have never met but I feel like I know them because they are kept alive through the stories. Dad and I used to go walking through cemetaries  and he would tell me who the people were and something about them. They weren't just names and dates on a tombstone, they were real people with a story. The people who left the newspapers had a story to tell too and they wanted us to find it.

What story will you leave behind when your time on earth is through? What will people remember of you? Sure you'll be remembered by your children and grandchildren but what about your great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, will they know anything about you? What legacy will you leave behind? Let me encourage you to write things down. You don't have to be a writer to write things. Write about your every day life. Write about what is important to you. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, start with that. Tell future generations of the hope you have.

The world is such a different place from what it was when those newspapers were placed in our staircase. The world has changed drastically and I wish I knew more about the person who placed them there, but I have learned something about them. They wanted to be remembered. They traveled, hence the foreign newspaper. They were interested in the world around them and they were literate, they could read. It's not much but I appreciate knowing even that much about the people who once lived where I live.

God instructed men to write down His words so that future generations would know Who He is. Psalm 102:18 says "Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord." God knew how important it is to leave something behind. He wants us to know Him and remember Him.

Words are important because they are like a time capsule telling someone in the future who we were and what we believed in. Long after I am gone, I hope that someone will read my blog and my books and know who I was. I hope they will enjoy the stories I write about my every day life but most importantly I hope they will know that Jesus is the most important Person in my life, that He gives me hope and He helps me every day. I hope they will accept Him as their personal Saviour too so that someday we can meet each other in Heaven.

Start a time capsule today. Maybe it will be a journal or maybe it will be an actual container that you put personal things in and bury so someone will find it some day and you'll not be forgotten. Whatever you choose to do, leave a record of who you are so that a person not yet born will know you through what you left behind.

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