Saturday, March 6, 2010

From Time to Eternity

The earthquake in Chile affected everyone on earth. We might not have been close enough to the epicenter to feel the earth shake, but it spun faster - ever so slightly - and we all lost some time... so they say. According to NASA, the earthquake that struck on February 27 was so powerful that it actually rocked the earth, causing it to shift on its axis, shortening the day by 1.26 millionths of a second.

It can be compared to a figure skater spinning. If the skater pulls in her arms, she spins faster. The earthquake caused the earth to pull in her mass slightly, prompting the planet to spin a little quicker, shortening our 24-hour daily rotation by a fraction of a second.

But that is nothing compared to other historical time shortages. Back in 1752 Americans lost eleven days! On September 3, 1752, England and its colonies replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar. People went to bed on September 2 and woke up the next morning to September 14.

Rumors spread that employees had lost eleven days pay. Tenants would have to pay eleven days rent that they didn't use. There were protests and riots in the streets. People believed that their lives had been shortened by eleven days. People marched on Parliament demanding their eleven days back.

When Augustine was asked "What is time?' he replied, "I know what it is, but when you ask me I don't." Our measurement of time is arbitrary. In reality there are no seconds or minutes or hours. These are human conventions used to measure the immeasurable. Humans are little time machines, creating the illusion of "time marching on." Even days and years are local phenomena - applicable only to our planetary neighborhood.

Furthermore physicists tell us that time beyond this solar system is flexible. Einstein theorized - and it has been proven by experimentation - that time slows down with speed and gravity. Theoretically it stops at the speed of light. Hence the Biblical truth that "God is light" and dwells in eternity.

The Bible says that to God "one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." In other words, time is relative to God. I know I am waxing a bit philosophical here, but my point is that all we have is now. God is now, and we are now. The Kingdom of God is now.

Time is a human invention used to avoid the reality of the God who is the great "I Am." We have eternity in our hands, and we exchange it for the cheap plastic substitute that we call time. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

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