Monday, October 1, 2018

An Eternal Present

For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.
Ps 90:4
It is difficult for me to place God outside of time, but I must continually force myself to do so. Time is a creature of God, and God is no more bound by it than I am by the laws of Turkmenistan when I'm in Alabama. Words like election and predestination and perseverance are transformed when we remember that God neither remembers the past nor anticipates the future, but simply exists in an eternal present in which all is known. Here's how Calvin talked about God and time:

When we attribute prescience to God, we mean that all things always were, and ever continue, under his eye; that to his knowledge there is no past or future, but all things are present, and indeed so present, that it is not merely the idea of them that is before him (as those objects are which we retain in our memory), but that he truly sees and contemplates them as actually under his immediate inspection. This prescience extends to the whole circuit of the world, and to all creatures.
✙ Institutes of the Christian Religion 3.21.5 

Which leads me to think about that word present:


  • Present means now. For me it is the blink of an eye, for what was the present a millisecond ago suddenly becomes the past, and anything beyond this very moment is the future.
  • Present is here. Just as God inhabits all time—past, present, and future—God inhabits all space.
        Where can I go from your spirit?
        Or where can I flee from your presence?
       
        If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
        if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

        If I take the wings of the morning
        and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

        even there your hand shall lead me,
        and your right hand shall hold me fast
    . —Ps 139:7-10
  • And a present is a gift given. Just as God inhabits all time and all space, God is part of all that I have, for there is nothing that does not come from God. I try to separate the good from the bad, assigning to God that which is agreeable to me... only to discover that the agreeable hasn't always been good, and the disagreeable has at times turned out to be wonderful. Time will tell, and I am a captive of time. God is not.
  • I ask not to understand how you exist beyond and above time, Lord. I ask only for a sense of gratitude that, because you are not bound by its passage, you can lead me in the paths I should walk, you can follow me to protect me, and you can be with me along the way; in the Name of him who taught me to pray...

    No comments:

    Post a Comment