Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Enchanted by Eternity – “Duration” Entraps Us

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end”
–Ecclesiastes 3:11 (Amplified)
God is inscrutable. He makes us in ways to question our existence and our destiny. And this is what the verse above talks about. Even Christians cannot fathom what God is truly about notwithstanding Jesus, the apostles, prophets and the entire Bible. Nobody knows for certain—that’s why it’s called “faith.”

We believe, yes. We believe. We know the resurrection power of the risen Lord Jesus to save, transform and renew a soul, but the life force and eternity we still can’t fathom.

The word “eternity” is also rendered “duration” and “world” and is generally meant in a temporal sense as in “duration” or “a sense of past and future” or “the desire of eternity” or “ever new repetition.”[1]

Perpetuity is an amazing concept. It goes on and on; always was and always will be.

It is perhaps because this enthralls us and we are either captivated by it or we can’t stand it that causes belief and unbelief as to the things of the Spiritual realm. We go one way or the other, and never the twain shall meet.

Our time is beautiful in only a way that we can appreciate. If we pine for the 1980s we don’t really know what we’re talking about. We’ve adapted to this time now. We couldn’t appreciate the way it was without adapting back to it.

This “divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages” links us in the present both to the past and to the future. This sense of purpose concerns us as we carry a baton of responsibility. We recognise that we’ll have to pass that baton at some stage and we’ve got to pass it well to the next runner. The next generation and the next (and so on) will feel the same burden.

The deep-seated and compulsive drive in us to know where we come from and where we’re headed is something that mystifies us or plagues us, yet we cannot escape it.

This “burden” we feel, that we might forever pretend doesn’t exist, is always there, always, and for every single person. That’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

[1] Roland E. Murphy, Ecclesiastes – Word Biblical Commentary 23A (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992), p. 34.

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