Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: Deep Time
Questions for Discussion:
Where is your spirit snagged on the past? Can you time-travel back, knowing what you know now, and carry a little grace with you?
What is making it hard for your spirit to be right here, right now?
Imagine yourself first 30 days, then five years, into God’s future. What do you see, hear, touch? What is resolved? What does God say to you about how it came to pass?
Scripture Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:11-15
God has made everything beautiful in its time. God has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.[b]
God has put a sense of past and future into our minds, yet we cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
Einstein and God agree on at least one thing (and probably many more): time is an illusion.
To God, who lives outside of time, there is no such thing as past, present, and future. All times are Now. Some modern mystics have called this living in “deep time.”
It’s a great comfort, whatever the current calamity, to know that there’s a time in the future when it’s already been resolved, somehow, and that that future is as real to God as the now you are suffering through.
It’s not just that God knows what’s going to happen—it’s that it has already happened, somewhere (somewhen?).
It’s also a great comfort to know that our past is not really gone (except for that unfortunate spring break trip—*that* we’d be glad to erase forever).
Made in the image of God, imbued with the Spirit of God, perhaps we can imagine ourselves in deep time a little more often. Starting with the present calamity.
We can mirror the past into the present, mining its lessons and keeping its dear ones and heroes with us.
We can live in the present, non-anxious about tomorrow (today’s worries are enough).
And we can imagine the future, what can be, and what WILL be, if we have the courage and stamina.
God, You invented time so that our brains wouldn’t explode, and so we would have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. But in our most anxious or lonely moments, remind us of the truth: that we live with You everywhen. Amen.