Time with God
With the beginning of daylight savings time I have changed the time on all the clocks I could find, but the most important clock I have - my body - is not easily re-programmed. Instead of waking up a few minutes before the alarm goes off, I now wake an hour and a few minutes before the alarm goes off. Nancy’s electronic alarm clock goes off 30 minutes later, and then mine 30 minutes after that. By the time my internal clock is fully reprogrammed, the electronic alarm clock will be reset and it will wake me up before my internal alarm goes off. Time is relative. The world’s most accurate clock might gain or lose one second in about 5 billion years, but what do you think- will the University of Colorado at Boulder be able to maintain the clock that long? How fast time passes depends on where we are and how fast we are traveling, so the world’s most accurate clock gets discombobulated with the change in gravity when it is moved a few centimeters up or down relative to the center of the Earth. The faster we move, the slower time moves, but of course our internal clocks are not accurate enough to perceive the shift. For me a 12-minute sermon passes in 5 minutes, but for a parent caring for a tired 3-year-old, the same 12-minute sermon takes an hour and a half. Psalm 90 (NRSV) says:
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.” For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.
We are alive in the present moment with God, so that when we are aware of the presence of God we are most alive. Aliveness is what life is all about. It is strange that our culture thinks of spiritual reality as being ethereal and lacking substance, when it is the very core and substance of our lives. Even though we experience the passage of time in an extremely relative way – noting the single direction of time as one thing follows another sequentially - we still don’t know what time is. Even the things that seem most substantial, such as the Earth itself, are but passing forms in the grand expanse of time. We have this moment in which to love and be loved. By the grace of God we are awakened to the presence of God and that is the substance of our lives and our dwelling place. It is God who awakens us here and now.