The good folks of Tulsa, Oklahoma, decided to create a time capsule to be opened in 50 years. The year was 1957. Included in the large concrete container was a ’57 Plymouth Belvedere, some motor oil, a gas can with leaded gasoline, a $100 trust document, and a case of Schlitz beer. The civic leaders who sponsored the capsule also ran a contest to see who could most accurately guess the population in fifty years. The winner would be given the car when the capsule was opened in 2007. Unfortunately, the cement box sprung a leak. The car had flooded and rusted, the gasoline was outlawed, and the beer was flat. The best guess was close, missing by 2300, but the grand prize was disappointing to say the least.
What would you put in your personal time capsule? Fifty years from now, what would you want people to know or remember about you? Perhaps a high school annual or scrapbook filled with pictures your children already make fun of? An article of clothing from a popular brand? A favorite book? A smart phone or tablet? A Blu-Ray movie? A box of Twinkies (they’ll last forever)? A hand-written letter? A list of predictions? A newspaper? A current bottle of Coke? How about some paper money or a check? We have to wonder how technology will change in five years, let alone fifty. Can you recover information from your electronic devices with the inevitable advances? What would you play your movie disc with?
Perhaps this is just idle speculation, but we do want our lives to matter to family and friends beyond our brief time on this earth. We do want to make a difference in the world because of time well spent, of life well-lived. If we are believers, surely we want to leave behind a spiritual legacy of faithfulness to God and service to others.
We are writing our own histories, one chapter at a time. When the story is finished, we want it to be worth telling. Yes, we all owe a death, but we are also given life. It’s up to us as to how we use the gift.