CGG Weekly, November 19, 2004
"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."
I am not usually a murmurer, but today I must take a moment to air this one "complaint":
There is not enough time!
We just do not have enough time in our fleeting human lives to do all the things we would like to d whether spending quality time with our children, grandchildren, other family members, and good friends; listening to beautiful music; reading inspiring, high-quality literature; visiting the museums and art galleries of the world; playing or watching sports; skiing the planet's best slopes; hiking breathtaking beauty spots; or doing our part in God's work. I am sure you could add many of your own preferences to this short list. There just is not enough time to do it all!
As an example, take one of my passions: music. In the sixties, through the inspiration of a Plain Truth magazine article, I discovered Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and just how wonderful much of the classical music repertoire is. In the seventies, I discovered Shostakovich and Mahler; in the eighties, Mendelssohn; in the nineties, Sibelius and Richard Strauss. In the early years of the twenty-first century, I discovered, through the amazing music of Gavin Bryars, Erich Korngold, and others, that even some of the more modern classical works can be inspiring, thought-provoking, and beautiful. I am discovering more stunningly beautiful pieces of music almost every day. But as I am now in my mid-fifties, I am beginning to realize how very short my human life is and that, even if I were to live to be a hundred, I still would not have enough time to be able to listen to all the fabulous music that I would like to. I feel the same disappointment about literature and art.
Two years ago, when I retired from my day job, I thought I would have lots of time to be able to spend on many of the things that I wanted to do. But I soon discovered that there just are not enough hours in each day, not enough days in each week, not enough weeks in each month, not enough months in each year, not enough years in each decade, and not enough decades in each lifetime! One part of me feels that the time restrictions of our human lives appear somehow unfair because they seemingly cause us to miss out on so much. Psychologists call these feelings "coming to terms with one's own mortality."
However, as it is our Creator who has limited our human lifetimes to an average of seventy to eighty or so years (Psalm 90:10), our human time limit cannot necessarily be a bad thing. If we look upon this mortal limitation as a problem, it is also our loving God who has given His people the answer. We have the solution to what otherwise might be a frustrating and depressing dilemma. God's people have a great hope that this hopeless world has no idea of. Yes, God has given us the answer.
The answer—in one, awe-inspiring word—is eternity.
Are you suffering right now from the post-Feast blues? Here we are in November, and the fantastic Feast of 2004 has now been over for more than a month. Because we rehearse these things every year according to God's instructions, we all know very well what the various holy days symbolize. From spring to fall every year, we think deeply about their meanings.
But what about this time of year; right now? What about these seemingly dead days of winter, this period of approximately six months that begins at the close of the Last Great Day and ends as the Passover approaches? Reflecting on this recently, I thought that we might arbitrarily cut this six-month period into two three-month periods. The second of these three-month periods—the one leading up to the Passover—might symbolize the dark days of our lives before we were called into God's church.
Yet, more relevant to today's topic, the first three-month period—this one immediately following the Last Great Day—might symbolize eternity. It can remind us of the indescribably magnificent eternity that will follow the Great White Throne Judgment period and the setting up of the throne of God the Father on this earth—the eternity when we will no longer be restricted by time.
How hard it is for us humans to wrap our limited minds around the concept of infinity. Oh, I am sure that I will not be spending all of my time sitting in front of the Arcturus Symphony Orchestra, the Orion String Quartet, or the Pleiades Philharmonic Chorus (Job 9:9). I am sure that we will all be very busy and happy with the many priorities God has in mind for us. Just what will we be doing with all that time? Now this might be a good topic for us all to meditate upon further.