I loved reading the story of a coin on display in a museum in Northern Britain, labelled as being from the Roman Empire and had been minted between the years 135 and 138 A.D. It was a second century coin and many people had gazed upon this wonderful example of ancient coinage with the large letter ‘R’ printed on it, which experts agreed stood for ‘Roma’. No one challenged its authenticity, not the general public, the museum’s employees nor any experts.
No one challenged this accepted position, that is, until October 1971, when a visitor, a nine year old girl, pointed out that it was not a genuine Roman coin but a token, made of plastic, which was given away by a soft drinks company in exchange for bottle labels. Therefore, in her opinion, the dating was way out! She was challenged by staff to prove her claim and provide evidence of her seeming ability to contradict accepted opinion. She insisted she was correct and asked them to look on the back, where they found a firm’s trademark. The ‘R’ stood for Robinson’s the soft drink manufacturer!
A spokesman for the Roman Fort museum said, “The token was designed as a Roman replica.”, presumably that was the best explanation they could make for the mistake. No doubt there was embarrassment all round and I have no idea what happened to the girl, the coin or the experts concerned.
It reminds us that we should be very careful before we jump to conclusions about anything. The coin was not a life or death matter but just a moment of exquisite humour as a child proved the experts wrong. Today there is much more important information for consideration and yet there are so many competing voices that it is difficult to retain, analyse and respond effectively. We need to delve slowly and methodically and ask ourselves what are the important issues of life because the focus cannot be the material or monetary, as they are earth bound and can’t be taken with us when we die.
The questions, ‘Why are we here?’, ‘Where do we go?’ and ‘What is the purpose of life?’ are real and important, with answers that are life changing. If we are simply the result of the chance collisions of impersonal atoms then we have no purpose and we came from nothing, go to nothing and exist in a sea of nothingness. What a hopeless philosophy and what a dreadful prospect! Yet if God exists then we have a purpose as we were created in His image and we are incomplete and unsatisfied until we know God, for we were created to know Him. We can know God through Jesus who died for our sins on the cross, rose again and waits to come into our lives by faith to give us a glorious assurance of eternal life beyond the grave.
It is worth thinking outside the box of our materialistic, secular mindset and focusing upon spiritual reality which is found in Jesus as revealed in the Bible. Unlike the coin, Jesus is authentic. Do give Him thought.
Please contact us and we will gladly send you a Bible and literature to help you understand more of these things. We will pray for you. Come back again for another Message of Hope.