Theme of the Week: Stewarding Time
Bible Verse: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:11-15
What’s your favorite time travel movie? Maybe you start thinking of Bill and Ted, Marty McFly, John Connor, and the Avengers. Or maybe you start thinking of Phil and the groundhog. Or Captain Kirk and the whales. The list goes on and on.
Regardless of your tastes, watching time travel movies really opens up our imaginations. We wonder what it’d be like to go back to the past and change events or go “back to the future” and marvel at technological advances. We imagine what it’d be like to travel back and visit ourselves and how that could change the future. The latest movie craze about multi-verses takes things to another level, where countless alternate Earths and universes exist in a different time.
But getting back to reality, what is time anyway? Quick, how would you define time to a 4-year-old? It’s not easy, is it? We dumb it down by telling our children, “4 more sleeps before Christmas!” If you played charades and had to act out “time,” you’d most likely point at your wrist or pretend to be a human clock, but you’re not really acting out time, just the instruments that measure it. I think it’d be hard to act out time in the truest sense of the word.
Most definitions of time refer to measuring events in sequence from past to present to the future.
This is consistent with how God established time at creation. After He created the heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1, the next thing He made was light, which He separated from the darkness. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night” and thus God created the first day (vv. 3-5). Human civilization, through no other choice, has observed the day – sunrise and sundown – as the core measurement of time ever since.
God has created us to live by this time unit of the “day.” However, our Bible verse for today tells us that God has also “set eternity in the human heart” (Eccl 3:11, NIV). The NRSV Bible translates it as He “has put a sense of past and future” into our minds. We are not like animals. Instead, we clearly understand that we don’t merely live in the present.
Our hearts are attracted by the past, and we wonder about ancient human history and civilizations. In fact, we pay money to travel to see old places and things. We also spend money online to trace our ancestry. As well, we consider the future and ponder what it will be like for our children, grandchildren, and all of our descendants. We worry about the impact that war, inflation, and climate might have on them in the future.
God made our hearts to gravitate towards eternity. This may be why many of us are thrilled by time travel movies, as time travel resonates with our eternity-seeking hearts. But only God can satisfy our yearning. Ecclesiastes 3:11 goes on to say that “no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Temporal humans cannot possibly fully grasp the works of an eternal God, yet He planted something in our mortal hearts so that we would seek Him, the immortal God.
If you’ve received Christ Jesus, you’re touching eternity now. Whenever you pray to God, you’re entering the realm of eternity now. When you cease activity, meditate, and sense the peace of the Holy Spirit, know that eternity lives inside of you now. Forget time travel movies. That’s fiction. Worship the eternal God who calls you to be His child. That’s reality.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I meditate on You being Lord of the past, present, and future. I worship You, great, eternal Almighty God.
Reflection: How can God have no beginning? How can He have no end? How great is God in that He exists with no beginning and no end?
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