Read Exodus 3:1-14; Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Have you ever read the novella, “The Time Machine”, or are at least familiar with the film adaptations of the same name? In the novella, H. G. Wells develops a character called the Time Traveler who believes he has invented a machine that can travel through time. Indeed, he had developed such a machine and travels to the year 802,701 A.D. where he runs into the Eloi, which he theorizes are a peaceful communist society and the result of nature being overtaken by human technology, in which humanity learned to adapt to an environment where they didn’t really need strength or intellect.
He also runs into the Morlock who are ape-like in appearance and who live underground. The Morlocks attack the Eloi and, to make a long story short, the Time Traveler comes to the realization that they are hunting and eating the Eloi, who are too carefree to doing anything about it. The Time Traveler eventually has to make an escape as he too falls prey of the Morlock and he moves 30 million years into the future and sees what appears to him to be the end of the world. Eventually, he returns back to his own time and tells his disbelieving dinner guests all that he has seen in the future.
Often, when we think of God and of God being eternal, we think of a timeline. We think of a linear line that stretches from beginning to end, one that can be looked back upon and can be travelled into the future on, much like the way the novella “The Time Machine” is set up. When we think of the word “eternal”, we think of something that stretches on and one forever. What’s more, we believe this to be backed up Biblically because, after all, doesn’t both God and Jesus claim in Revelation to be the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end?
Yet, that is a misunderstanding of what it means to be the beginning and the end. It is true that in God is both the beginning and the end of all things; however, God never began and never ends. In eternity there is no beginning and no end. There just is. In other words, God was not in the past, nor will God be in the future, rather God is always in the present. There is only ever presence in the present.
In Exodus, when Moses asked God to tell him who he should say sent him to the Hebrews, God replied, “I AM WHO I AM…tell them that I AM sent you.” God’s own self-definition is that GOD IS. Notice that God did not say to Moses, “Tell them that I WAS or I WILL BE sent you.” What kind of hope is there in a God that WAS or a God that WILL BE? God is not a God of the past or the present. Such things do not truly exist. All that really exists is the PRESENT…right here and right now.
God is not calling us to dwell in our past or worry about our future. Rather God is calling us to live in the present. It is in the present that we inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. It is in the present that we are enveloped by the presence of God. It is in the present that we enter into eternity. It is in the present that we live and that is exactly where God meets us. While we as human beings may measure time in three tenses (past, present and future), God is calling us to live in the present in a way that reflects the reality of God’s present presence. Remember that eternity is at our door, we only need to open up the door and let it in.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
How much of the present is wasted living in the past and/or worrying about the future?
Lord, help me to recognize your presence with me right here and right now. Help me to reflect the truth of your present presence to all I come in contact with. Amen.