Do you have interest in the ancient? A lot of people seem to study things like the pyramids of Egypt that are more than 3,000 years old. But above 8,000 feet in the White Mountains of California and around the west there are the oldest living things, the Bristlecone Pines. The oldest them still living is known as “Methuselah,” estimated to be some 4,800 years old. Even older was “Prometheus,” cut down by an over zealous doctoral student. These ancient and gnarled trees are protected and their locations are not well publicized because of the dark side of people who are sadly looking for ways to make money from them.
These trees grow in the nutrient poor soils of the dolomite rock high in the mountains. They survive more than they grow. The highest are only 60 feet, but some 36 feet in girth. Wind and sand whips them, their resin protects and the bark conducts the rare water at the altitude they grow. They are also known at “wind timber” for obvious reasons.
I have seen these trees, but my cousin, a renowned landscape photographer has studied and photographed them on their rugged perches.
Do you search for such things? Are you searching for ancient truths and purposes of life? It is a central theme of all men’s lives. Blaise Pascal, the great mathematician and philosopher of the 17th century said that, “there is a God-sized hole in every man’s heart.” The ancient and wise words of Solomon penned in Ecclesiastes, “Everything is meaningless…He has made everything beautiful in its time. He as also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 1:1, 3:11-12). So do you search for meaning in the world of material things? You won’t find it there. The world is transcient and its posessions do not fill our soul holes. You see that matters because we are body, mind and spirit and only our souls are eternal. Our bodies start falling apart when we are in our 20s and you can’t take anything with you when you die. We will all die and have a choice where we spend eternity. Some believe that we are coming back; some think that this life is it. But Scripture tells us that, “It is appointed once for man to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Yes, we will die and be judged by the Creator God. We can spend eternity in His presense and in light or in darkness outside His presence.
The sand blows slowly to destroy the pyramids and the bristlecones tenaciously hold on as life passes by, but mankind will live forever along with God and His word,
“until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom” (Daniel 7:22).