The only downside to this outing (aside from being painfully reminded that I’m no longer a spring chicken) was seeing conclusively that time is flying out of control.
Here’s part of the problem: For anyone who works full-time, and especially for us self-employed types, even a vacation is governed by a hefty To Do list. According to mine, tomorrow is the only day I have nothing that must be done (except for catching up on my business bookkeeping, working on the outline for a new novel, and rebuilding the sloppy border of Herrenhausen ornamental oregano with the new perennials I picked up last Saturday between 3:30 and 4:15 p.m. at my favorite perennial nursery).
I slept like a rock last night in the wake of all that fresh zoo air and exercise, but towards morning had a nightmare of a sort that’s recent in my annals of bad dreams.
Our old basset hound Lucy and I were delivering garden plans to clients on a route that took us, on foot, several miles away from home. We ended up at a rocking-and-rolling emergent church, where the bouncer at the door suggested we sit in the back so we could leave immediately if Lucy made any noise.
But the moment we sat down, I noticed a wall clock. It was 11:20 – I’d not only missed a 10 a.m. meeting at the nursing home, but had totally forgotten about the home’s 11 a.m. Christian Music Hour – and I had both the music and the hymn booklets! Lucy and I tore out of there, racing back through the maze of houses and yards we’d just visited, far too late to meet my obligations but pushing onward nevertheless.
Fortunately, I suppose, when we were halfway home, the real Lucy woke me up, eager to start her day.
But as I sit here typing, knowing I’d better get moving in order to make this morning’s 10:30 meeting about an upcoming ministry fair, I am reminded that one happy day all these deadlines will be history.
In the new heavens and the new earth that He will create to replace this fallen world -- the new world described in books such as Isaiah and 2 Peter and Revelation – there won’t be time as we know it today. Its very markers will be gone:
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the
glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who
are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory
and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no
night there). (Revelation 21: 23-25)
We will apparently still experience time in terms of the progressive unfolding of events. But here’s the big difference: we'll never run out of it, because we will be living in eternity. John Newton expressed it beautifully in the last stanza of his stunning hymn, “Amazing Grace”:
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.
Doesn’t that imply no deadlines? No opportunities for meetings forgotten, duties undone, appointments missed?
I don’t know for sure; it’s impossible to imagine what the implications of eternity might be. But I’m certainly hoping that this will be the case.
For the moment, the more important question is whether you’re sure you’ll be spending eternity in this land beyond time? If not, please visit www.needgod.com – it won’t take you long, and it could change the way you spend your forever.