In which a frisky lamb frolics through time (pt3)

by Craig on March 2, 2011

Time and eternity, eggheady stuff that makes me dance around joyfully like a frisky little lamb. I get giddy :) And today we can blame Ann Voskamp again for making me write crazy stuff. She said to explore time. She let the frisky lamb into the China shop.

I’m linking today with…

Two weeks ago I began unraveling time and eternity (here).

Last week I got to imagine the intricate miracle of time that was the Crucifixion. (here)

Now I’m thinking of what it meant for God, who is eternal, to “enter into time”.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

The Christians said that the eternal God, who is everywhere and keeps the whole universe going, once became a human being.  Well, then, I said, how did the whole universe keep going while He was a baby, or while He was asleep?

And here I go, all frolicking and frisky…

Poor C.S. Lewis – the problems are:

1. words, (i.e. was, will be, now, later)

2. our teeny 3 pound brains.

Everything we know is oriented to time, so the jump from the finite to the eternal is a leap of infinite proportions.

But frisky lambs can make it.

Our Lord,

eternally existent,

lived for “a time”,

within the confines of “time”.

Soren Kierkegaard calls it the Absolute Paradox.  He says that eternal, means unchangeable. Time is marked by change. And when the two meet  – kablooey (not his words).

I guess the thing is, that God’s eternity is not the same as our history.  And our bitty brains tend to think that Our Lord’s 33 years on earth, and in time, can somehow be separated from from his eternal existence.

From our standpoint there was a “time” when his life was a future event.  That future became present – and then slipped away into the past. All well and good for non-eternal beings – but not eternal ones.

Somehow, all of the  temporal things Our Lord experienced on earth, are, and always have been, a part of His whole eternal life.  There has been no “chunk” of His eternal life taken out and placed in time.

He was “in time” and never left “eternity”.

He was human and never ceased being God.

The God who created time itself would have no difficulty in sustaining the universe He also created, even while living within it.

“All powerful” means a lot of power.

Jesus, whether in the form of a babe, a child, or a man,

is. still. God.

and being God in whatever form we behold Him

He sustains Time, Eternity, and the Universe simply by being, and by being God.

Our Lord, being eternal, and living a lifetime on earth, isn’t just an event in history. That’s one of the many things that makes Christianity so special. Our Lord’s life, death, and resurrection were events in history, yet, above history.

They were events in the realm of eternity, reaching into time.

They were moments “in time”, where the history of the world began and ended.

And because of them, we are already above time, and history.

And I can’t be all this eggheady without some “so what’s”. So here’s just two of them:

  • If I needed to pray for something – last Tuesday, and I forgot – I can dial up God, and pray for last Tuesday – today. That’s handy huh?
  • And a really really neat thing. If we know a Christian who has passed from this life. They are literally still with us. When we stop living “in time” we head to eternity. In eternity are Abraham, and Paul, and you, and me, and the person we loved, who left. We may be without them here, and now, but they have “never been” without us – because in eternity we are all “already” with them.

And this is where I’ll end my frisky frolicking,

Back to normal frolicking tomorrow – and once again, remember, it wasn’t my fault.

God Bless

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Dianna McBride March 2, 2011 at 6:19 am

I enjoyed this post on time, Craig. My very most favorite part “That’s one of the many things that makes Christianity so special. It was historical and yet, above history.” It could all be mind boggling (especially with a migraine that doesn’t want to go away) but those two sentences somehow put everything in to focus for me.

My second most favorite part is “We may be without them here, and now, but they have “never been” without us – because in eternity we are all “already” with them.” It brings me comfort.

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thank you Dianna. Of all the “faiths” ever in the world – the one most substantiated is Christianity, rooted in time, historical, undeniable for anyone taking a close and honest look at it. And amen, to know when our loved ones die, they are not dead, and never have to “wait” to see us – although – “in time” we have to wait to see them. Thank you for reading Dianna. God Bless.

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Christine- Fruit in Season March 2, 2011 at 6:40 am

Yes! I love thinking on God as eternal. It is so freeing to let go of our notion of time, therefore opening up yesterday, today, and forever as one beautiful package all at once. Such a mystery, and so grand! I love the way you unfolded each phrase to this thought to see where they would lead. :)

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 8:48 am

It IS so grand Christine – the whole panorama of God – when we really ponder how big He is – the vision of Him just keeps getting bigger. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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Lisa notes... March 2, 2011 at 6:59 am

“…and our teeny 3 pound brains.
Everything we know is oriented to time, so the jump from the finite to the eternal is a leap of infinite proportions.
But frisky lambs can make it.”

My teeny brain can’t quite grasp it, but thankful that we’re already in eternity and don’t have to worry about it. Thanks for providing the worm for us early-birds. {smile}

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 8:51 am

Oh, you saw that tweet did you? And so true – we are already in eternity – so we don’t need to get all “thinky” about it :) God bless you Lisa.

For everyone else – I tweeted this morning a Shel Silversteen poem “Oh if you’re a bird be an early bird – and catch the worm for your morning plate. Oh if you’re a bird be an early bird. But if you’re a worm…

sleep late” (and thus Lisa’s thoughtful worm / bird comment. {smile}

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Rose March 2, 2011 at 7:39 am

I enjoyed this frisky frolic through time – and beyond. And I absolutely loved the picture in this post!

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 8:53 am

Thank you Rose – I do think of time as a creation of God’s – with a beginning and an end and that’s one of the reasons he can “see” the future – it isn’t future to him – he just looks at the clock in his hands. God Bless you and thank you for reading.

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Anna March 2, 2011 at 8:22 am

Beautiful exploration. You express so eloquently a concept which is so often hard to explain to those who cannot comprehend of saying prayers for those who have died, or addressing our prayers to the saints. Because our little tiny brains can’t wrap themselves around it, we tend to reject it as false. Thank you for the beautiful words this morning.

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

“Because our little tiny brains can’t wrap themselves around it, we tend to reject it as false.” —– That is so wise. I heart – I mean really heart when I get to learn from my comments. You have taught me today with this. God Bless you Anna. God Bless.

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Tracy March 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Amen, from a stumbling lamb, with tiny brain…. :)

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

And thank YOU, I only frolic when I’m inspired. Mostly, I too, am “a stumbling lamb, with a tiny brain” :) WE ARE ALL STUMBLING LAMBS WITH TINY BRAINS – and guess what – that just made me laugh – so thank you again. God Bless.

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Debra March 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

If I needed to pray for something – last Tuesday, and I forgot – I can dial up God, and pray for last Tuesday – today. That’s handy huh?
Not only is it handy, it’s amazing!

We dwell outside the box when we grasp the reality of the eternal now. “Take no thought for tomorrow… and forget the things which are behind.” So what does that leave us but the present moment?
Enjoyed frolicking with you :)

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Craig March 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

Thank you Debra – and thank you for “Take no thought for tomorrow… and forget the things which are behind.” – that is worthy of repeating!! God bless you.

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Michelle March 3, 2011 at 1:29 am

Well, whether you blame Ann or not, this is being printed and put onto my fridge and into my Bible so I can ponder again and again and again and ……
Thank you.

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Craig March 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

Wow. Thank you Michelle. Those are really kind words. I’m about to start writing some prompts – to get better at this craft. I was told to post it even if my readers don’t like it. I let them know I’d be glad to post it – but I write FOR my readers – I write FOR you – I write for you guys!! And when I know you enjoyed it – I grin ear to ear. Thank you – and God bless.

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Anonymuss March 3, 2011 at 2:07 am

I love the way this all transcends (for me) the debates about Who in the trinity is/was subordinate to Whom and for how long, etc….

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Craig March 3, 2011 at 9:24 am

Amen A – the closer we look at the whole portrait of God – the bigger he gets – the more out of the box he appears – He. Is. Big. He really is above our ways and thoughts – but we can still frolic. God Bless, A.

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Debbie March 3, 2011 at 3:43 am

Thank you for giddy making, for time talk and eternally knowing we stand with Him! :)

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Craig March 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

And it really does make me giddy – and this is only a small piece of what I’d like to write about it – we might return to it later – nothing like pondering time and eternity to broaden spiritual horizons. God Bless and thank you as always Deb.

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Dawn March 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Craig,

I LOVED this blog on time. I am always dumbfounded when I think that God chose to work through the Hebrews. They are such a past, present, future people. Other cultures would have had a more natural proclivity for the eternal. I think of the Navajo whose time is always progressive present. There is no past or future. My son studied the Japanese and said to me once, “Mom, I don’t know why Jesus wasn’t Japanese. They would really have understood Him much better than the Hebrews.” ‘Tis interesting, is it not?

But then I remember Einstein and the theory of relativity. He was a German! How did he ever break out of his culture’s idea of time to give us a scientific explanation for never growing old? A theory that proposed that as we sped up, time slowed and if we attained the speed of light, time would stand still. He is the Light of the World! It was such an unlikely connection for a German to make; a Navajo perhaps, but not a German. I have a quote from Einstein on my refrigerator, “Before God we are all equally wise.” Perhaps this is why He can speak to any of us at any time and His revelation will suspend our cultural biases and enable us to really see.

Giddy here,
Dawn

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Craig March 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I am almost wordless. Your insights Dawn – the clicking of your brain. And the timing of your comment? Lets just say – a smile when I really needed one. Thank you. God Bless. When I come back and revisit this again later – in more detail – I may need to borrow your skills. I’ve thought about time and eternity a lot. But you have covered areas of thought I never even drew near – Navajo – and Japanese – and German culture.

And yes – of all the nations of the earth – what was it about them. Then I think about me. Maybe he just likes a challenge :)

God Bless – and thank you Dawn.

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Rebecca March 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Beautiful meditations! I’ve been working the serpent in the wilderness around in my poorly equipped gray matter all week in preparation for a Jr. Church lesson.
He was made sin for us. He became the serpent. I don’t think I’ve ever considered that aspect of the crucifixion in this way before. To apprehend what it means for an eternal God whose very nature is justice, lovingkindness, and righteousness to become in a finite moment of time the very things he abhors. Murderer. Child Molester. Thief. Adulterer. Rapist. The agony must have been unbearable. The physical agony of the cross would have been slight in comparison.
For me. That I might live eternally with Him. It boggles the brain.

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Rebecca March 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm

…and I didn’t explain my thoughts well at all! Christ remained sinless, but our sin was imputed to him. He was seen, punished, lifted up AS the snake.

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Craig March 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Rebecca – that’s a bleesedly deep comment. I didn’t get it the first time through. But I do now. God bless you for taking the time to reflect and share it with us. Thank you. The physical pain – I really don’t think that’s what concerned Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane – it was this pain – the burden of countless ages of the sin of the entire world. I think he did pay the price for ever sin – even the ones who have not accepted his payment. To have gone through that – paid the price even of those who would reject him – and his salvation – that boggles MY mind – for the first time. God bless.

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