HEXHAM ABBEY, I recently learned, was built in 678 A.D., which is an astonishing thought — that an original church building is over 1,300 years old. There are church buildings elsewhere in the world that were built as early as the Third Century.
Think of all the persons in all the centuries, all the generations, and all the decades who have come and gone; how many moments. There are 31.5 billion seconds in one thousand years. There are forty generations over the same time period. And even though that sounds inordinately long, and that we only ever witness four or five generations in any one life, all those seconds tick dutifully by, one after the other, with inevitability. Sometime soon, it will be one hundred years from now, and almost all of us who breathe air now will have expired.
If I look back over the time experiences I’ve had in recent days, I see challenges that were overcome, accomplishments made that seemed to breed stress at the time, but now simply weave a story. Three days ago, an early start, anxiety for what I needed to do in a short time period, many people dependent on my role, and yet now I look back at it as simply an interesting event, a blip in my account of lived experience. What if heaven provides a perfect account of every reconciled memory — like a movie library of the ratified days of our lives?
If one of the purposes of our lives is to reconcile time, we have the motive to go back through our days and make an honest account of them. To investigate our attribution of these days’ experiences and make of them an outcome of acceptance.
Time waits for no person, we know this by the fact of a death that seems as an ever-present possible reality — the longer we’re alive, the more that reality bears down in truth. So, we have the rest of our lives — seconds or hours or months or decades — to decide the things we must decide and to do the things we would like to do. But we do this without ever knowing how long life will last. It’s good to bear this truth in the front of our minds.
What can we do with our time now that we cannot do when we’re gone?
How can we further challenge our understanding of time in the realm of experience?
Why are we so willing to deny our finiteness in this world? What fears do we have that are simply interesting?
When is it possible to come to new understandings of time around revelation?
Who told us we had to live from the paradigm set that we have today?
Where is the challenge ahead to debunk futile philosophies of time that do not serve us?