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Ti-i-i-ime Isn’t On Our Side…

August 1, 2005

Mood: Rushed
Song: "The Time of My Life"

I've been doing some thinking (can you smell the smoke from there?) lately, all stemming from the C.S. Lewis book That Hideous Strength. What should a Christian perspective on time be? Since the advent of our Lord, the church has been told that she is living in the end times. On the other hand, in Thessalonians we are told that "a day is as a thousand years". Premillenialism? Postmillenialism? Old earth or new earth creationism? Where does logic come in? Why does it matter?

Consider this puzzle: why do captors so often begin by removing their captives from any means of ascertaining time? Man is an amphibious creature, destined for eternity but set adrift in time.

First (see how even in this posting it is almost impossible to avoid using time signal words), Scripture is clear that time follows a linear rather than a circular pattern, beginning with the Creation recounted in Genesis 1 and leading towards the second coming foretold in Revelation. What an encouragement-our history has purpose and is moving forward-not constantly progressing, necessarily, as that belief would lead to a dangerous delusion (see below)-in a direction ordained by the Creator.

Here's another thought: our age is no better or worse than any other. Thus, understanding history is crucial. One entire generation (or more) can easily be deceived, but the past can light the way to successfully avoiding pitfalls.

The truth, as always, is both more simple and more complex than a cursory glance reveals. Human beings have such a desire for change, yet stability calls us as well. Even in the church time is divided between sacred and ordinary, feast and famine. Vestments throughout the church universal became green this month; Pentecost is followed by ordinary time leading into Advent. Despite numerous tales of holiday depression, this time of year is truly the most challenging, as we are asked to simply LIVE in a manner that honors Christ. To raise children. To tend gardens. To tell stories.

We were never meant to be chained to time, although time was with us ever since "evening and morning, the first day." In the 21st century, life is scheduled to the second. Historically, of course, it was impossible to measure time to this degree. When should the corn be planted? When the leaves on the oak are the size of a squirrel's ear. When should work be stopped? At sunset. The very body itself was designed as a time regulator.

Thank goodness creation itself still follows this cyclical pattern. It is always a different spring, yet always spring again. A perfect mixture of dynamic and static. Praise to our Lord, who redeems even the time.

JRW

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