Time and Eternity

hourglass

Time is such a strange entity. It doesn’t take Einstein and his Theory of Relativity to explain how time is relative, although even he’s reputed to compare how time with a “pretty girl” passes much faster than the same amount of time sitting on a hot stove.

We speak of having a good time, or experiencing bad times. We measure ourselves by the amount of time we’ve been converting oxygen to carbon dioxide. To us, time is pretty significant.

It may not be important, though.

I always figured that time was one of those things that God made for our convenience like mass or gravity. Without mass we’d just pass other matter; without gravity, we’d just float. Absence of mass or gravity would make life far more complicated – the same with the absence of time.

On the other hand, we tend to think of being non-physical and untethered by gravity as things we’ll find in Heaven. We’ll float around as happy-go-lucky spirits until the end of time when we and our bodies will be reunited. Then, we’ll have the best of both worlds – enjoying our corporeal existence but able to simultaneously move about freely as spirits do.

Time, on the other hand, is a little trickier. As I’ve mentioned before eternity as in always having a tomorrow is a kind of comforting thought. On the other hand, eternity as in infinity going backward is significantly disconcerting. An unlimited number of tomorrows is inspiring. An unlimited number of yesterdays is confusing.

That’s one of the many reasons that He is God and we are not.

God referred to Himself as “I am.” Not “I was and I will be.” Just simply, “I am.”

So I figure that God is unfettered by time. I’ve never seen a drawing of God wearing a wristwatch, so I guess we all sort of imagine the same thing. He is – in all places at all times all at once all the time.

When I am having a good time, I try to tell Him, “Thanks.” When I’m having a bad time, I take comfort in the fact that while time may have a hold on me, it’s meaningless to Him.

It helps keep things in perspective.

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51 responses to “Time and Eternity

  1. If you believe that the Big Bang happened, then technically the Big Bang is still happening, it’s just changed form so that we are the Big Bang. Not only that, but since the matter of the universe is changeing every second, if you could manage to get the matter of the universe to change to when it was at a certain state while keeping your own form somehow stable without upsetting the change in the matter, you could essentially time travel. I think that’s how God and His angels are able to be at any time at any point: They just switch a cosmic dial and they are able to be at any point in time.
    That make any sense to you?

  2. A very interesting look at the way of the world, certainly the idea of a being unaffected by time is tricky to grasp for me… :P

  3. Thanks!
    Nicely done.

    In my Faith sharing I tell folks that “time does not exist for God; everythin for God is Present time.”

    God’s continued Blessings my friend,
    working4christ2

  4. Any time we have with God is good time. I understand your pondering however. Time is a marker common to all men and beast.

  5. Pingback: Time and Eternity | Dont Ask Me I’m No Expert

  6. Personally I believe that time only exists in mortality. After mortality all time exists at once. Man sees time as something like the slice taken out of a straw that time passes through. After mortality we see time like a man who looks through a straw end to end, we see it all at once and focus on what we like.

  7. I love this thought of God. We are so obsessed with time. He is not.

    • Very profound.
      Thank you!

      But then so is God and because He Created us; so are we.

      We don’t exist “for [just a] time”; but we DO exist for God, and IF we know, Love, Obey and serve Him; for an Eternity of Time.

      God Bless and Merry Christmans
      working4christ2

  8. Love it! :) We all need perspective, too. :) Thank you for posting.

  9. Very structured thoughts, I very much enjoyed the read. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  10. You’ve got a nice post. I agree. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I believe time is mostly a man-made function. Every piece of who we are and what surrounds us never really goes away. Nothing changes. A carbon atom stays just that. Even if an atom is split, the parts are still there. Nothing ever disappears. It just changes form. To go ‘back in time’ would simply mean putting things back where they were at some earlier moment. All the pieces are there. Obviously since everything happens on such a minute level, nothing like that would be possible. Things change form to resemble a progression towards something else. It’s like a plant growing from a seedling, dying then getting reintegrated with the soil. All the parts are still there and a plant can regrow. That is of course until by outside influence those pieces are reorganized and the form may never be the same. This universe simply ‘IS’ and just because things are moving doesn’t mean that time is of any matter. It’s simply how’ve perceive that movement.

  12. You say “God referred to Himself as “I am.” Not “I was and I will be.” Just simply, “I am.””. What about Revelation 1:8? “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come”.

    • Touche! However, when Moses asked His name, that was how He referred to Himself. I should have been more specific.

      However, isn’t it a wonderful God who gets us to strike up conversations?

      • Indeed!

        Actually, on Exodus 3:14, a lot of translations have a note on “I AM WHO I AM”, saying it could also be translated “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE”, and the GNB even says that “The one who is called I AM has sent me to you” could be translated “The one who is called I WILL BE has sent me to you”. The present tense seems to be the consensus about how to translate it into English, though.

        It may even be the case that the tense in Hebrew doesn’t exactly correspond to anything concise in English; for example, I’ve heard of “Let there be light” that the Hebrew uses a third-person imperative, for which there isn’t really an equivalent in English.

      • Numbers 31 God isn’t being that wonderful in my humble opinion.

    • Yea BUT:

      “I AM” encompasses each and all of these terms. Amen

      working4christ

  13. Loved your view on time and God. I have always found comfort in having many tomorrows. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  14. Time is of the essence,
    And time is present now,
    But time will always be there,
    And you need not worry how. :-)

  15. Very good perspective!! I thoughrouly enjoyed reading thay!

  16. The Orthodox Church teaches that God is not circumscribed by time, rather He transcends time. It makes everything from a heavenly, eternal perspective wholly different than anything we can really grab hold of intellectually. Thanks for the post. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  17. Pingback: A short, short story about a timeless life. « janna hill

  18. Reblogged this on minhajoverseas and commented:
    Time is money, and we have to follow it, do join Minhaj-ul-Quran on 23 December 2012

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  21. Perfecto. Awesome entry mate. Very well thought and noted.

  22. Good ol’ God — He sure gets around. But keeping on the subject—does He have time to visit Guantanamo?

  23. Succinctly and well written post. ;) Very readable.

  24. Hey. good reminder! That God has it all under control is sure a comforting thought. Thanks =D

  25. Nice thought. We are also part of time, a minuscule though on time scale of infinite yesterdays and tomorows. if time is something like mass or energy, we are energies too. to realize this we must first synchronize with it. Most of us either live in past or future.

  26. God says,” I am GOD”.. such a wonderful thought.. and the explanation of time and its eventuality was so well put in words! mesmerized! :)

  27. Deep thoughts! Really enjoyed the article, puts you in a meditative mood while reading, thanks!

  28. Eternity is very interesting to think about. As a Christian, I believe that God is above and beyond all things. Believing such, I must then assume that he is not bound by any of those things (time, space, matter, etc). In fact, without Him, all things would also cease to be (it is the thing that is bound/subject to Him).

    As I am writing this, God is reading this, has always read this, and will always read this. He is outside of time (even infinity as infinity is relative to time).

    I could go on and on, but as the Teacher said, it’s all “meaningless.” All meaning is wrapped up in the greatest commandment: love.

    But eternity is fun to contemplate from time to time.

    Great post. I really enjoyed reading it.

  29. I wonder if time went fast or slow for the Middianite women of Numbers 31 as they were dragged away with their city in flames and their husbands slain on the command of ‘God’. Is this the same God you are talking about? I was enjoying your thoughts on time up until you mentioned ‘him’.

    • I f I may add a bit of REALITY to your comment my friend;

      First: time exist FOR man, not for God, for whom all is “Present” and “now”

      Also man himself is the SOURSE of evil; not God!

      Even you acknowlwde that “they dragged” [they being evil men]. Why do men attempt to shift the blame for evil to God is a seperate topic. But God is the Creator of GOOD; and we men choose evil orver good. Our choice not God’s; and certainly not even God’s desire or Will.

      Sorry; freind you’ll have to find a better excuse than what you gave to deny God’s Goodness.

      God Bless you,

      working4christ2

      • I’m not trying to wind you up or trick you Sir – merely asking a question, in relation to actual text said to be the word of God, that contradicts the assertion that he is all loving, kind and good.

        It clearly says in Numbers 31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, (31:2) Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

        Then after much slaughter on the command of God we read…

        31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

        So on Gods command and through his ‘chosen’ spokesperson, his keep all the virgin girls for themselves. For what reason?

        This is just one of many instances that undermine the notion that this God is pure goodness. It’s there in his word – ‘go kill everyone in that city apart from the virgin girls’. I struggle with that command coming from a decent guy.

        There is also the philosophical question – if God is the source of ALL things, particularly Man whom he created in his own image, then this would suggest that God must have, along with everything else, created evil?

        I hope you can explain this to me as I am genuinely interested and you seem to have a good insight into these things.

        Thank you.

      • I’m not sure anyone can answer this, at least anyone I know, although Rick’s comments (sent today 12/29) are fairly thought provoking.

        As far as the Midianites, I suspect (for whatever that’s worth) that any young men or widows would be prone toward revenge and from a practical standpoint couldn’t be trusted. Having served in Southeast Asia, I have seen this focus on honor and avenging wrongs and have no difficulty believing it goes back millennia. Although descended from Abraham, they worshipped idols, which would have been offensive to God.

        Having said that, I agree that to our eyes and by today’s values it seems very harsh. In the same way that we don’t understand why every country or tribe doesn’t view American democracy as the ideal, so too we cannot frame historic events in the mindset of the time. Humans are a fairly brutal species, and throughout history it seems that we were very efficient and effective at it.

        I see evil as the absence of God’s influence in the same way that darkness is the absence of light. When you lose the light you also lose the ability to see color or when it’s totally dark, shapes.

        Isaiah tells us that God said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and neither are your ways my ways.” Not to sound glib, but if we could figure God out, He wouldn’t be much of a god. I suspect in the next life we’ll see things and understand them – only they’ll seem so obvious that we’ll wonder why we didn’t understand it before.

        A pitiful explanation, I’m sure, but that’s as far as my brain can take us.

        Have a great New Year.

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  31. I’ve been told by several rabbi scholars that the proper translation is “I will be what I will be.” Which maybe is not significantly different, but important when considering other aspects of God. Regardless, this was very thought provoking. I’m always fascinated by time, space, and God and I love hearing people’s perspectives!! Great stuff.

  32. i very much agree. Time is what separates us from the heavons.
    we are the existence that occurs between birth and death. time is life. a paradox until we we die and time is removed. – surely, in the heavons, where all would no doubt be well, we would look down from the clouds and marvel at the magic of time. and beg for our next opportunity to move down to earth, repeat a life- and feel the guiding guarantee of time itself.

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