Ancient stone passages standing open through time, and times, and half a time. Old doorways into ruins of an ancient Pueblo, constructed near the time of Christ, which remains as a monument to the first New Mexicans, the founders of my hometown, Aztec. I touch these walls crafted by long forgotten hands and marvel at the brilliance of these people we label as primitive. From rock, mud, and cedar they constructed a monument to their existence that withstood the test of time. Each tiny room that housed a family also, became a burial chamber; time capsules leaving a legacy of how they survived and thrived in the desert. The river that conquering Catholic Spaniards named Animas (lost souls) in response to discovering these same ruins is the river that made this pueblo possible. The same river that supported both past civilizations continues to sustain the ancient town I call home. I consider that this current Aztec will also, fall to ruin, as that is the final outcome of anything built by man. The ultimate joy human beings seek in everything we build evades us because of our mortal nature. We may succeed in building something that outlasts us but everything returns to dust as we also, return to the dust.
I step through the small door, big enough for only one, and as I step backward in time, I set my feet on the narrow path that leads through the pueblo. Standing in one small room that once served as living room, kitchen, bedroom, and then as a tomb, I am surprised by a feeling of coming home and reverence. On my right, there is another doorway that has been filled in with glass and those buried in that room have been left in state, along with the implements of daily life. Baskets, sandals, and sleeping mats woven from leaves of bear grass that are not only, practical but artistically decorated. Ceramic pots of varying sizes and shapes with glazed designs I recognize in pottery made by Pueblo people today. It’s obvious that these ancient people knew how to live well in the desert and they weren’t so different from the people who presently abide in Aztec. The only difference is our technologies but people and our needs never change and it is God Who supplies our needs through nature. I am standing in ancient history, looking through each subsequent passageway, my eyes guided by the light from outside in the future, and my spirit is overwhelmed by the Eternal One. I am reminded of my own life’s passage through time. I remember when I met Jesus, the Door and stepped through Him by faith, setting my feet onto the narrow path and began my walk on the Living Way. A leap that took me centuries backward, on a journey leading to the future, guided though the dark passages of earthly life, by the true Light that is also, Jesus. In that first step of faith, this mortal woman realized eternity in Christ. He is the ancient passageway standing open for times, and time, and half a time; until the full number of the called and chosen, enters and then the door will close. All human monuments will crumble as human rule comes to a final end. Then Jesus will open the door to a new and better world. Where He will rule over all and every human need will be met with utter healing and the sustenance of eternal life. Jesus is the ancient passageway to joy!