Time is a very human necessity. We use minutes and hours and days and nights to determine when we work and play and sleep. We use months and years to measure our progress through life, from birth to death. Spring, summer, autumn and winter help us to time when we plant and harvest and let the earth rest and renew itself. Time is of this world.
In Genesis we find a description of how the earth was created. It took God six days to do His work, and then He rested. He didn’t need the rest, but rather gave us an example so that part of each week we would rest and renew ourselves. Time is of this world.
Eternity has no time element. There is no beginning and no end. Rather it is a state of being. This past week I sat at my mother’s bedside watching her die. Twenty years ago I watched my father die, and thirty years ago, my sister. And so it goes, back to the beginning of time. I believe that when we die we arrive at an eternity without time. I believe that all who have gone before and all who will follow arrive at that same eternity at the same time. Parents and children, ancestors and descendants, no matter when we lived on earth, we will all arrive at the same eternity at once. I believe that we are guided through our time here on earth by all those who have preceded us and all who will come later. I believe that my time here on earth has been influenced by those who have loved me in eternity, whether they be ancestors or descendants, and that at those moments when I find myself faced with a moral choice, someone in eternity tries to influence that decision toward the good. We grieve here on earth for those we have loved who have gone, but that grieving is temporal. Those who have gone do not have to wait for us to follow, because we are there already.
I believe that those who have no faith in an eternity will find this folly, but…this I believe.
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