My high school physics assignment sounded simple enough. Define time. I was intrigued, for I had never considered such a thing. I went home and looked up “time” in my old, tattered Webster’s dictionary. After reading the lengthy definition, I realized the Webster people didn’t know how to explain time. It was one of those words like “love,” that had a long-winded definition, all to say, “We don’t know.”
I spent a lot of time in thought and meditation on this concept. “What is time?” I considered myself an agnostic but observed that when it came to the big questions in life, the answers to “What?” and “Why?” usually led to a mastermind behind the universe. And this was one of those questions.
“What is a day of time?” I pondered. One rotation of the earth on its axis. What is a month of time? About one revolution of the moon around our planet. What is a year of time? One revolution of the earth around the sun. What is the common denominator here? And then it hit me.
Motion. It’s all about motion. What would happen if the earth stopped turning on its axis? What would happen if the moon stopped revolving around the earth? What if this planet stopped revolving around the sun? And even more significant, what if everything in the universe stopped moving? I remembered a Twilight Zone episode when time stood still, and no one moved. Nothing happened, because no time passed.
I realized that time is simply the measurement of motion. If nothing moved, there would be no time. When something moves, however, time is the measurement of its movement from point A to point B.
A few months later, I was going through a time of spiritual confusion. God intervened miraculously and revealed a bit of Himself to me. The only two phrases which came to my mind was that I was “in the Spirit,” and this was “revelation.” I was somehow inside the mind of God, and it was immense. All of time was one. That’s the only way I can explain it. I saw all of time at once. I didn’t know everything, but I understood everything. I didn’t know how my small brain could comprehend the magnitude of His understanding, compassion, and love. A burning desire to go outside and help people flooded my heart.
After the revelation ended, I realized I had been exalting myself above God. I was humbled. There was no question about it. God was real, and to say that He was more significant than me would be an understatement. I always believed that truth was within me if I looked hard enough for it. But I now recognized that truth was outside of myself and was much greater than me.
I resolved to seek truth until I found it, not knowing that it was a “Him.” Two more years would pass before I humbled myself before God, started reading the Bible, and came into a relationship with the living, resurrected Christ Jesus, whom I confessed as my Lord.
That was over four decades ago, and I still think about what God showed me. I’m still intrigued by the concept of time, especially when I find scriptures about it. For example, Isaiah 57:15 says that God is “the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity.”
The prophet Isaiah declared that God inhabits eternity. Wherever or whenever you are, God is there, everywhere. He doesn’t go from point A to point B in the physical realm. He exists outside of time because He doesn’t move. He just is. That is why when Moses asked, “what should I say your name is?” God’s reply was simply, “I AM.” Throughout all of time and every crevice of the universe, God is. He couldn’t have given Moses a more perfect answer than “I AM.”
We, on the other hand, move through linear time, from point A to point B. I understand things best in pictures, so I made a meager attempt to illustrate time and God. Imagine all of time on earth as a large, black board. Each person’s life would be a tiny line of light peeking through the board–millions of lives, millions of tiny lines of light. Now turn the board over, and we see God—a vast, brilliant, dazzling light.
This concept gets very interesting when we consider Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, sacrificed, died, resurrected, and now seated at the right hand of God—who inhabits eternity. He is everywhere, in God the Father. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, who knows every heart and hears every prayer. He is the Way, as we move along our linear light of time. He is the Truth who satisfies all who seek. He is the Life, who will bring us into eternity.