Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

September 21, 2010

Machu Picchu

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

One of my treasures is a piece of pottery from Machu Picchu.  Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site in Peru.  It was long known as “The Lost City of the Incas.”  It was not discovered until 1911.

The city was built around 1450 as a citadel in the mountains, some 8,000 feet above sea level.  The walls of the buildings are a polished, dry stone.  The blocks were careful chiseled to fit together tightly without mortar.  It is a true archaeological site for study.

It has become one of the major tourist attractions in the world.  In the 1970s as the Peruvian government prepared to make this unique archaeological site known to the world, they contracted with a friend of ours to do a brochure.  As an artist and designer, he needed to visit the site to adequately interpreter this wonderful place to the world.

The city was divided into two sections.  As he walked in one section, he described the pottery and other artifacts that could be seen on the ground.  Because of their value, he was not allowed even to touch them.  Later, they took him to the other section where he spotted interesting relics also. There were many pieces of broken pottery and they allowed him to pick these up.  With permission from the government, he returned home with a broken piece.

Now, that piece is among my treasures.  Imagine, I can hold that piece of pottery in my hands and realize that almost 600 years ago someone held it in their hands.  I always stand amazed when I realize that something such as a piece of pottery can survive wars, climate effect, and even being discarded.  There are not many things that we can point to with such age.  Archaeological museums should rightly protect those relics they have on display.

Is this piece of broken pottery of any value?  That would depend.  For some, it is valuable because few, if any other pieces, exist outside Machu Picchu.  Others would see its value in how it relates them to the present and 600 years ago.  It provides insight to a way of life then as compared to now.  For me, the value is both, but more than anything, it brings to my remembrance  broken pottery by which God seeks to teach us a lesson.

In Jeremiah 19, the prophet was told to purchase a clay jar from the potter.  He then told the  people how displeased God was with their lifestyle and their failure to submit to Him.  Jeremiah, as instructed, threw the jar down. When the people saw the broken pieces of the jar, they were told that as the broken pieces could not be repaired, there could come a time when they could become so hardened to the things of God that they would be shattered.  This was in contrast to Jeremiah 18 where God demonstrated through the potter’s wheel how a jar can be reshaped, even when it is marred, if the potter works with it while the clay is still pliable.  But once hardened, it is too late.

Yes, this rare piece of pottery is a constant reminder that I must allow God, the Master Potter, to mold and shape my life.  For one to ignore God and refuse to allow Him to touch that life, there will come a day when it is too late to be shaped . . . and that individual  will be cast down and broken without any hope of repair.

Stubbornness toward God is costly . . . submission is priceless!

“Can I not do with you as this potter does? declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 18:5)  “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”  (Isaiah 55:6)



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