Welcome to the SECULAR edition of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival.
It doesn’t matter if your post is a day or so late, the carnival never ends around here
I’m going to come up with a list of new words for the carnival later this week. Feel free to give me suggestions!
Remember, if you tweet your post or any of the others in the carnival, please use the hashtag #owaat.
Secular – A Once in an Age or Century Event
Now THAT’s a big tree.
But what’s a big tree like that got to do with the word ‘secular’?
Well, the truth is, I cheated.
I couldn’t really think of anything to write about with the word ‘secular’ without going off on a rant in one way or another and I really didn’t want to do that. So instead, I decided to take a good look at the dictionary definition of the word ‘secular’ and I found a little nugget of pure joy.
Let me show you.
Dictionary.com defines secular thus:
1.of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.
2.not pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to sacred): secular music.
3.(of education, a school, etc.) concerned with nonreligious subjects.
4.(of members of the clergy) not belonging to a religious order; not bound by monastic vows (opposed to regular).
5.occurring or celebrated once in an age or century: the secular games of Rome.
Did you see that last one there?
‘Occurring or celebrated once in an age or century’.
The first thing I thought of when I saw that saw sequoia trees, like the one pictured above.
It is estimated that some of the oldest trees in Sequoia National Park could be as much as 3000 years old.
Stop and think about that for a moment.
Three THOUSAND years.
Talk about once in an age! Plant one of those puppies and it will be there until you are not even a long distant memory.
These trees have been growing since a 1000 years BEFORE the birth of Christ – possibly even since around the time of the Flood.
So, seriously, they’re THAT old.
The age of these huge lumps of wood constantly astounds me.
I remember a few years ago seeing that Charles Darwin’s turtle had died… at the ripe old age of 176. That figure alone was mind boggling.
Five generations or so of my family have been born and died during that turtle’s life.
It really makes it hit home to me how short and delicate life is.
We think about once-in-a-lifetime events, the sinking of the titanic, the turn of a century or even a new millennium, the election of the first black US president or any of the momentous, life changing events that occur around the globe and we get fixated on how incredibly important they are… but we are looking at life through such a small window.
Take the reactor meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986.
The radiation leaked left the area completely uninhabitable for many generations to come but the latest estimates I’ve seen place the time until the land there is usable again at 800-900 years.
A thousand years after that, no-one would even remember what took place there … and yet, measured in terms of the lifespans of Sequoia trees, that’s no time at all.
It’s mind boggling to think of just how old the world really is and how insignificant some of our really ‘significant’ events truly are.
Yet there are those ‘secular’ events, the once-in-an-age, world shaking, future changing events that we will always remember.
The birth, death and resurrection of Christ being the three most important – and really the only three memorable.
What excited me though is that we could get to see another of those once-in-an-age events – the return of Christ.
Human history can be summed up with just seven ‘secular’ events:
- Man was created
- Man fell
- The flood destroyed everyone but Noah
- Man ignored his second chance
- Jesus came to earth
- Jesus died to save us
- Jesus rose again to bring us eternal life
- Christ’s triumphant return to take those who love him to be with him forever