Is opening night of *Private Lives* history’s most compelling event?

I love words and old stuff, so I listen to an old BBC radio program called My Word! Panelists are quizzed on words, literature, and the like. In one episode, they were quizzed on the word phrontistery, and the moderator said that it was like a thinkery. Instantly I knew that’s the kind of place I want to be! But, I digress.

What I really want to talk about is another episode of My Word!, in which panelists were asked, If you could be present at any historical event, which one would you choose?

I immediately thought of the resurrection of Jesus, which I consider to be the greatest event ever — not to mention the happiest event ever! But, here’s how it went …

My Word! on BBC Radio
Dilys wished she could have witnessed the moment when Stanley found Livingstone. After the famous Dr. Livingstone, I presume? Dilys was dying to know whether Livingstone replied with something such as Did you have a good journey?

Dennis would be present at the opening night of Noël Coward’s Private Lives. The play has garnered popularity over the years and is still produced, and Dennis wondered whether he would recognize its greatness at its premiere.

Frank wanted to have been there when the cities of the plain were destroyed so that he could see just what they did in Sodom and Gomorrah that warranted fire and brimstone. That made the audience giggle.

Antonia agreed with Frank that the Bible is full of irresistible episodes, and she would have chosen to be there when the Red Sea parted and the children of Israel escaped from the pursuing Egyptian army. I thought, Yes! Now we’re getting to something of significance! She went on, though, to say that she would choose that event because she loves to travel and likes the idea of crossing an international border without the bother of passports, customs, and immigration checks.

Well, dang. That was a letdown. I was thinking, What about the creation of the earth?! Jesus’s birth, death, or resurrection?!

Okay, okay — maybe I’m not being fair. Perhaps the panelists weren’t going for significance and gravity but rather for humor and levity and even quirkiness. Maybe they didn’t want to get too heavy or religious. I can understand that. If that’s what we’re going for, I’ll pick that moment in 2737 BC, when Camellia sinensis leaves blew into the water that Chinese emperor Shen Nung’s servant was boiling for him. Let there be tea!

the greatest events ever

If we’re being completely serious, I’ll choose to embrace the world’s most wonderful events of the most extraordinary significance. To me, those are earth’s creation, Jesus’s birth, His death, and His resurrection. Everything else that has happened pales in comparison.

It’s fun to think about, and it provides perspective. You know what’s even better? Realizing that the future holds even more. I missed out on being there for the greatest events of history, but I plan on being there for the greatest events of the future. See you there?


What events (past or future) would you want to witness or experience? Add your comments below! Feel free to go for gravity or levity; it’s just something to think about.

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