I hate to breathe used air. I like to have it fresh. In fact, I’m rather fussy about the air around me. I like it to be not too hot or too cold. I like it not to be too dry or too moist and I like the air to be just the right speed and pressure. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that you are somewhat like that too with ideals and limits.
The idea of used air suggests air that has been around for a while. In fact I suspect that particles of it here and there were exhaled or burped ages ago by dinosaurs – ancient times. (I wonder if any of them had bad breath?) When I think about dinosaurs I’m reminded of another thing – perhaps God’s greatest gift to us – time. Dinosaurs seem to be deeply imbedded in it. God created time you know, along with everything else. But He’s not part of the creation itself – not part of time. Like a potter creating a piece of pottery, he’s not part of the pottery. He might get a little clay or glazing on his apron, but he can just brush that off. Same thing with time.
What about time – what is it? We have some definitions and descriptions for it. (In this context time is: ”The continuum of experiences which flow from the future through the present to the past.”) But like all definitions, they’re never as good as they should be and they change over time. So even though we don’t really know what time is, or what time it really is, we do know that we and all of our surroundings are absolutely subject to it. We can’t even get through a whole thought without some kind of reference to time. I even started this article with a connection between the air we breathe and the time we breathe it. We’ve built time into our language not just in the adjectives we use, but in the very tenses of our verbs.
I know, I know. Some of you are rolling your eyes saying, “There he goes again.” But this has some importance when we talk about our Creator. There are theological issues like ‘election’ and ‘prayer’ where time is intimately involved. Such things get complicated when we try to discuss them inside the framework of time. In fact, entire Christian denominations have resulted from the failure to resolve the differences in understanding such issues.
Take ‘prayer’ for example. How can God, who has a clear, specific plan for each of us, answer our prayers when our prayers may contradict His plan? It all depends on time. We only see things happening in sequence whereas God sees everything at once. God knows instantly how to answer a prayer in a way that fits His plans. It’s probably not that simple, but it works to think of it that way.
In fact the Bible positively drips with order and sequences or in the theme of this article – time. We see in Genesis 1:14 “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years…’”. So time began on the fourth day of creation. Mankind was created after that – within the framework of time.
We are creatures of time created to function within time. Apparently we cannot exist outside of it yet we see in the description of The New Jerusalem (eternity) in Revelation 21:23 “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” So the great lights God originally gave us to keep time will not work. However, God does not leave us without a timepiece in eternity – the Tree of Life. Look at Revelation 22:2 “through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the Tree of Life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month…”.
I suspect there will be something like “the time of the bud”, “the time of the flower”, “the time of the young fruit” and “the time of the harvest”. And those times will be quickly subdivided so we can always know exactly what time it is – forever.
I doubt, however, that we will feel the same pressure of time in eternity that we feel here on Earth.
Since I have taken the time to write this and you have taken time to read it, I hope you will take the time to let me know your thoughts on the issue – soon.
BTW: I have expanded on the concept of aloneness in my book “Worshiping Alone”. If you have read the book, please go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a comment (click on rating stars). If you haven’t yet read it, please order a copy, read it, then leave a comment.
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