Thursday, March 17, 2011

This thing called time.

Time is a funny concept.

In one sense it is very straightforward. Each day we are given 1440 minutes to spend as we like. That's 525,600 minutes a year. Whether we use them wisely or foolishly, they are gone in the end.

But what about other ways to think of time?

Parents of young children know that days can seem like years and years can seem like days.

For a child, an hour long car ride can seem that it will never end, while their favorite TV show is never long enough.

Time flies when we are having fun, but it drags when we are bored.

When you are in severe pain for five minutes, it feels like it's actually hours.

A person who gets a terminal diagnosis is placed on Hospice and told they have six months to live. They have very little time......except that they have a lot of time to put their affairs in order and say good-bye. Whereas as someone who dies suddenly has no time for those things, but up to the minute of death may have appeared to have a lot of time.

And, then, there is God's perspective on time. God, being eternal, of course lives outside of time. Somehow he can be in all "whens" all the time. One verse that explains God's view of time is Psalm 90:4:

A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

C.S. Lewis also makes attempts to explain God's thinking on this topic. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Aslan tells Lucy that they will see each other again soon and she asks what he calls "soon." His reply: "I call all times soon." It's hard to fathom what it means to call all times soon. Someday, though, we who live in Christ will be beyond the bonds and vagaries of time. We will inhabit eternity and call all times soon. We don't know when that is though. As individuals we don't know when God will call us Home. As a Church, we don't know when Christ will return and put an end to time. All we know is that He has called it "soon." (Rev. 22:20)

Better get ready. We don't know how much time we have.


Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the op’ning day.

~ Isaac Watts

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