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  • Writer's pictureLarry Neville

Have you heard about the, 10,000 Year Clock?

“We are building a 10,000 Year Clock. It’s a special Clock, designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking.” (

Jeff Bezos the owner of Amazon and the richest person ever in recorded history is involved in building this 10,000 Year Clock. “A Clock that ticks once a year, where the century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium. The vision was, and still is, to build a Clock that will keep time for the next 10,000 years.” To get to where they are building this clock will take a commitment. “The nearest airport is several hours away by car, and the foot trail to the Clock is rugged, rising almost 2,000 feet above the valley floor.”

As I read this and looked at the pictures online I wondered what people thought in 1927 when Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began chiseling away at the side of a mountain in South Dakota to produced Mount Rushmore. Today over two million visitors a year go to see Mount Rushmore. I have been one of those a couple of times.

This will probably become a tourist attraction sometime in the future. Maybe at each millennium over the next 10,000 years? It is still many years in the making as they build the clock and carve out all the rooms in the mountain for future visitors.

An Icon for long-term thinking.

What interested me as I read about the clock is Jeff Bezo’s statement, “An icon for long-term thinking.” Ten Thousand years is more than long-term thinking to me, it is science fiction thinking or heavenly thinking. This statement still stuck in my mind. I guess that I get so enamored with the present and the near future needs that I don’t engage in enough, “long-term thinking.”

Life is a journey, we start out as babies only interested in our own comfort, everything is about me. As we grow hopefully that changes. We have all been around someone who never grew up and every thing has always been about “me.” Usually, that leads to a very unhealthy and unhappy life both during the journey and at the end leaving a lot of hurt along the way. Paul referred to selfishness in Galatians chapter six, “The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds!”(MSG) Willian Booth, the founder of Salvation Army would write a yearly letter to all the Salvation Army Soldiers around the world. His last letter, just before he died was only one word – “Others.”

True Long-term thinking is investing in “others.”

Jesus is our greatest example of investing a life for others. “He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion” (Philippians 2:8 MSG). Jesus was thinking long-term. Unfortunately, his disciples were interested in what position there were going to have when Jesus restored the kingdom of Israel. “They began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them” (Luke 22:24). How often we can fall into the same trap as these disciples.

I don’t understand Jeff Bezos’ reasoning for building this 10,000 year clock. I believe there is in everyone a desire to do something that lasts? When you are the richest person in the world, well? I guess you can do what you want.

On this Monday Morning I am drawn to think deeply about what I am leaving behind. Looking now at the span of years I have journeyed makes me keenly aware of the need for more, “long-term thinking.” I am happy that I know that life is not as much about what I can carve into the side of mountain as it is about, “others.”

Larry Neville Contact me here


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