My oldest son then said something I hadn't thought about before. I'm sure others have said it before, and others have thought of it before. Perhaps I've thought about it in a vague sense. But it was the first time I actually thought it through and pondered the idea.
He said what if all of human history so far and up until now is just the beginning? What if humanity is set to exist for the next million years or so, and all that we have so far - from the most ancient cultures and beginnings, up until today - will be just a small footnote at the beginning of history books a million years from now?
Wow. I hadn't really thought of that. Like all generations, we tend to have a 'Fourth Quarter' mentality. We rightly say we're closer to the end than the beginning. Every day we're at least closer than we were. That's true. This was especially common thinking during the Cold War when we imagined it was only a matter of time before the Nuclear apocalypse destroyed the world.
That's why we tend to see history backwards. We'll cover the history of the Assyrian Empire in two paragraphs, but have the last hundred years dominate a dozen chapters. But what if all of this is just a pre-game warm up for the real history that is hundreds of thousands of years away? What if Jesus really did, once all is said and done, come at the beginning of the human race? At least that's how those generations hundreds of thousands of years away will see it.
Again, I hadn't thought of that before. I imagine we're getting close. After thousands of years of ancient civilization Christ came into the world, and after a couple thousand years it will end. A couple thousand years I imagine isn't too far away. But maybe not. In a universe measuring time in the billions of years, what's couple million? Maybe the last 50,000 years is just a warm up for the real history yet to happen. A history where the last 50,000 years will only be a tiny dot on a vast, endless timeline.
Made me think.
For he knoweth our frame. He remembereth that we are dust:
Man's days are as grass, as the flower of the field so shall he flourish
For the spirit shall pass in him, and he shall not be: and he shall know his place no more