9 November 2013

Time: Above And Beyond

This blog entry has been inspired by last week's Bible Study at my church. It's on the idea of time - and how God exists throughout the whole of time. Here's some ways that people have described God:

The Ancient of Days
Who is - Who was - Who is to come

His view of linear time is therefore quite different to us: Hear this description of God from the Message translation of Psalm 90:4: "Patience! You've got all the time in the world — whether a thousand years or a day, it’s all the same to you."

Having trouble understanding that? OK, spend one hour watching your favourite TV show, and then another hour doing something extremely boring. The same hour - but I assure you that hour will seem to pass at a quite different rate. Or you would wish it to! It's not the same for the Father. God exists throughout time - when He sees you, He sees not only who you are - but who you were - and who you can be/will be... He can stop and savour each moment. Skip back and forth as He would want. Awesome thought.

Some people have told me that God exists outside of time, that He is timeless. Not so. He exists throughout time. And we, poor beings, stuck in linear time, living life a day at a time, sometimes have difficulty with regard to that. And how often due we wish to stop time for a while, or fast forward through a difficult spot. How often do we have trouble moving on...

When thinking about this sort of thing, though, my mind goes back to the Star Trek episode 'Emissary', the pilot episode of the 'Deep Space Nine' series. In the show, Benjamin Sisko takes command of a space station following the violent death of his wife Jennifer some years earlier. In the episode he encounters alien entities in a wormhole which is adjacent to the station. The aliens have a different view on life; they have difficulty grasping Sisko's corporeal and linear existence. To them, past, present and future are the same. Sisko uses baseball in an effort to explain - you pitch a ball not knowing for certain what will happen.  

Whilst trying to explain 'living life a day at a time', the entities point out that Sisko continues to return to the moment of Jennifer's death (living in that moment, rather than in the present). Sisko then comes to the realisation that he has been grieving over the loss of his wife - rather than moving on with the rest of his life...

More to follow...

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