Keeping Track of Time

It has baffled, challenged and perplexed the most brilliant of minds for hundreds and even thousands of years.  How to keep track of the years, the seasons and the days in a way that is easy to follow and accurate.

Diagram of the pits used as a calendar 10,000 years ago. Image source

Diagram of the pits used as a calendar to track the summer solstice and lunar cycles about 10,000 years ago. Image source

In what is believed to be the oldest “calendar” to track time in the history of mankind was discovered in Scotland. Dating back 10,000 years this calendar is something that can’t be hanged on a wall. It is a set of pits dug by the hunter gatherers of the day that align the midwinter sunrise and then 11 corresponding pits to track the lunar cycles throughout the year.

Egyptian calendar, Temple of Kom Ombo, Egypt. This calendar dates from the Ptolemaic Period. (Photo by Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Egyptian calendar, Temple of Kom Ombo, Egypt. This calendar dates from the Ptolemaic Period. (Photo by Art Media/Print Collector/Getty Images)

The first “formal calendars” came about around 5,000 years ago.  The Babylonians, the Greeks, Egyptians and many other civilizations had their own method of measuring time, but each were dreadfully inaccurate.   When Rome became a world empire they also developed their own calendar, but it to was filled with flaws.  Julius Caesar who the one who through employing the skills of some very brilliant astronomers and mathematicians devised what is known as the “Julian Calendar” in 46BCE (he was assassinated two years later).  According to the Julian calendar each year was 365 and a quarter days.  Each calendar year was 365 days, and every 4 years an extra day added as a leap year.

Julius Caesar was a mighty and powerful conqueror. But like all human beings, his time on earth was very short. Image source

Julius Caesar was a mighty and powerful conqueror. But like all human beings who have come and gone, his time on earth was very short compared to eternity. Image source

The Julian calendar became the standard for approximately the next 1600 years.  It was much more accurate than any predecessors, but was not completely accurate.  Every year included an extra 11 minutes and 14 seconds.  This does not a 1st seem so big a deal, but over 100 years this is 18 hours, and over 1,000 years this is approximately a week off from being accurate.

Imagine this for a "show and tell". The calendar goes from Oct. 1-4, misses 10 days and then goes from Oct. 15-31. This is to make up for the discrepancies left by the Julian calendar. Image Source

Imagine this for a “show and tell”. It was the year 1582. The calendar goes from Oct. 1-4, misses 10 days and then goes from Oct. 15-31. This is to make up for the discrepancies left by the Julian calendar. Image Source

It was a Pope named Pope Gregory the 8th who upon his election in 1572 fixed the discrepancies and made changes so the calendar would be much more accurate.  In October of 1572 the calendar misses 10 days to correct the inaccuracies of the Julian calendar that added up over 1600 years. Each year actually measures 365.2422 instead of 365.25 hours, and to make up for that discrepancy, 3 out of every 4 centennial years is not a leap year (the year 2,000 was a leap year by that formula).  The Gregorian calendar is the calendar we presently use. (Facts used on the calendars history are found at exovdate.com )

We have come so far in keeping track of time over the past 10,000 years.  But to put things into perspective all we have really done is aligned ourselves to God’s timetable.  Or have we?  It says in the Bible that 1,000 years is like a day.  Sort of puts in perspective what eternity might be like. This is extremely hard to get ones mind around.

Mankind has become timekeepers, but it is only made possible due to the unchangeable accuracy of God.  Think of these statistics found on the website timekeepingsite.org. The earth is spinning 1040 miles/hr.  The earth is revolving around the sun 18.5 miles/second.  The earth is moving (along with the solar system) around the Milky Way galaxy 155 miles/second.  The Milky Way galaxy is moving through space at 185 miles/second.

Our galaxy The Mily Way is only one galaxy. No one knows how many galaxies there are out there. Image Source.

Our galaxy The Milky Way is only one galaxy. No one knows how many galaxies there are out there. Their numbers are said to be staggering. Image Source.

God’s timetable does not change.  It does not slow down.  It does not speed up.  God is unchangeable.  He does not change.  A solar day is 24 hours 3 minutes 56.55 seconds.  A tropical year (the period between 2 successive spring equinoxes) is 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 46.3 seconds. Accurate right to the tenth of a second.  Because of this accuracy we know what the exact time the sun will rise in Christchurch New Zealand on April 23th, or what time it will set in Whitehorse Canada on say October 4th.

So the next time we run late for an appointment, for work or even for church remember God is never late.  He does not lose track of time.  And if we unconsciously trust the one who set the time and seasons why not consciously trust the one who provides every heartbeat, every breath.  Thank you for your support of this blog (which is simply a preview of our weekly services).  And if you are ever in Hillsdale ON Canada why not check us out. Our morning services are at 10:30 am.  Thank you God bless, and have a tremendous 2017.

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Keeping Track of Time

Respectful Comments Welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s