Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

1.01.2010

Time and Eternity

Skype?
"Correspondence Cinema" One of the pictures in the collection Vision of 2000 by a French artist in 1910

How time flies.
Ten years ago I was nine—a precocious, toothless, pigtailed youngin’. I thought I was very wise and very old, and I vowed that when I someday morphed into an adult I would be the ultimate one—the half-adult, half-child, bettered by my own nine-year old ideals. I’m not sure how that is going, for I stretch my brain to even remember that far back and, try as I might, I can hardly remember my nine-year-old thoughts and plans.
How time flies.
Ten years ago, we were toasting the millennium, wondering if the whole world would crash and burn the moment the “1999” slid into “2000.” Unfortunately, living in Pacific Time, we got a head’s up from the East coast that nothing would happen. They would spoil our fun. Ten years ago, September 11th was just a day like any other, Bush was running for president, I was just getting interested in politics, Jonah wasn't even born, and Great-Grandma was still alive. In 2000, there were less than 100,000 blogs, and now there are 133 million. In 2000, only 10% of households owned a digital camera, but now at least 68.4% can claim that bit of technology. I was in 4th grade learning multiplication tables and how to write a persuasive essay and now I’m beginning another semester in college. I’m going to be presumptuous and note that in ten more years, I will be a very ancient 29 year old, and I could be married with twelve children (twins and triplets could accomplish this), or I could be in Timbuktu, or I could be still typing away in this same room, busy as ever.
Here’s the conundrum: in year 2000, I imagined and forecasted 2010. I knew I would be an elderly 19, and I knew I would be out of high school. I knew I would have lived ten years of life in between, and I knew great change would come. Why then does it surprise me? Why do we say “How time flies” when it continues at a steady, 60 second per minute pace? Why are we shocked when little ones grow up and old ones die? This has been happening for thousands of years—you would think we would be used to it by now. “Oh, of course you grew five inches—you’re of that age.” Or how about, “Yes, of course he died—he was old, after all.”
Why is the passage of time so shocking to us?
Because God has put eternity in our hearts.
Yes, God created time for our humanity, but He created eternity for our reward. “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted…A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance...I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. (Eccl. 3:1-2, 4, 10-11)”
God is not constrained by time, as Psalm 90:4 so beautifully illustrates: “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.” Therefore, God created time for us, for He knew that our weak, imperfect minds could not comprehend eternity nor could our weak selves live long without feeling that, in our living, something was passing and being accomplished. Living in eternity with our sin natures would become a cage without bars to grip—a jail that was endless and horizon less. And so He gave us time.
Yet, ever unsatisfied, time is still our cage, for we do have eternity in our hearts. We are made for eternity, and the passage of time is as frustrating as it is necessary. It was into this world of yearning and dissatisfaction that Jesus came, offering the most precious of all gifts, the bewildering gem of eternal life, to people who continually beat their heads against the restraints of time. Time is to us an enemy, and Jesus’ sacrifice conquers sin, death, and time and offers us eternity with Him! Those who glance at the gift and turn away will still experience eternity: an eternity of excruciating, mind-numbing pain and fire and misery.
But for those that are believers in Christ, eternity will no longer be a cage, and we will be free of time. We will spend blissful millennia upon millennia in the presence of our beautiful Savior, and joy will bubble over like we cannot even imagine. Time will be forgotten, calendar-makers will be out of business, New Years will pass unmarked, and we will finally know the fulfillment of all that God created us for.
In the meantime, we still celebrate every New Year as a fascinating occurrence and still marvel that the sun will set so soon tonight and that in a few days Monday will come yet again. But in fewer days than I care to imagine, we all will be in nursing homes, and then I will enter, wonderingly, through the gates of heaven and the gates of eternity. It will be then that time will simply take wing and fly off altogether. And after that, shall we spend eternity together?

6 comments:

  1. Beautifully-written, Lauren. Thank you for turning our eyes toward eternity. I really like the thought that we are frustrated by the passage of time only because we were indeed made for eternity. I so look forward to the "day" when we will spend an uninterrupted forever with Jesus, the saints and our loved ones!
    Ahem, I do have to note that 29 is not "ancient." ;) But it can sure seem so at age nine. I used to think 30 was "old," but older is becoming younger as I become older. :)

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  2. Thanks, Lauren! That was a complete "ah-ha" moment for me (when you said that the reason we are surprised by time is because we are made fore eternity). I'd honestly never thought of it in that way before!
    Happy 2010! We're one year closer to eternity! :)

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  3. Wonderful post!

    I am commenting to let Mikaela know that she won my customized blog header giveaway! :) Mikaela, could you please leave me a comment on my blog: http://jewelsbyjulia-lauren.blogspot.com and give me your email address? I'd love to make you a blog header! :)

    Blessings,
    Julia

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  4. That's weird. I was thinking of time while I was at work Thursday. Your thoughts were only slighty different than mine.

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  5. That is a very interesting post Lauren, I have never thought of it that way...it is still hard
    to believe 2010 has come!
    ~Abigail~

    P.S Thanks for the letter!

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  6. Ruthie--I actually thought of you as soon as I wrote that absolutely-not-true phrase. (-: Meaning, I instantly realized that 29 is not ancient (and getting closer to me by the day!)and that you are in a place I would love to be in in 10 years--with opportunity to serve and bless!
    Sarah, this was my way of sharing my "aha" moment with you, so I'm tickled pink I got the same the same excitement across for you!
    Thanks, Julia, Mikaela will be in touch!
    Tyler--The end of the year is when I always start thinking about the passage of time more. And, as always, great minds think alike!
    Abby--I'm glad you enjoyed the post--I love sharing amazing discoveries I make with you all, and I love it when it's new to others as well rather than, "Oh, you missed that? I thought of that a long time ago!" (-: Sorry for my lateness with the letter, but I do enjoy yours!

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