Friday, December 2, 2011

The Personal Relevance of Time



Thinking of life we quickly turn to the matter of time and how it is personally relevant. Time can be thought of as an acronym of processes—Theophany; Initiation; Maturity; and, Eternity:


1. Theophany


The idea of life in a realm known as time is the quintessence of the theophanic; God making himself known, and the whole of creation, in and through a reality like time. There, too, involves the physical mystery of space.


We don’t think of creation, time, or space as particularly wonderful—but they are. Time is a thing afforded us from the moment of initiation.


2. Initiation


Initiation: then our lives began. Whether we count it from conception or from the moment we first gasped breath matters little.


The spark in time signifying our entrance into mortal life brought about a much longer process: maturity—as a goal for life.


3. Maturity


The first goal of maturity was to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally—from childhood to adulthood. That was certainly our parents’ chief task relevant to us.


Then when it became our job to further the process of maturity, we took ownership of our physical maintenance, mental capacity and state, and emotional wellbeing. We may have become intrigued spiritually at this time—God-captured and God-known. Maturity can only journey toward completion when facilitated spiritually.


Until the end comes, and thereby we enter eternity, maturity is the chief goal of life.


4. Eternity


Then time perhaps became irrelevant. Yes, at the end of our lives there is the eternal realm; a place, circumstance, and an embodiment we cannot grasp right now. Time, as far as we’re concerned, has ended. It is no longer relevant, though it may still be for loved ones left behind. It may or may not be a concern for us as we wait for them; if, indeed, we are so cognisant of such facts. Nothing is quite certain in a realm we have no personal knowledge about. But, we know by faith, this is where we are destined.


***


The clock is running and we have moved from the theophanic, to the initiation of our lives, as we presently enter into the process of maturity, before reaching eternity.


What might eventually be seen as a mere blip seems so long right now: the length, depth, breadth, and width of our lives.


The personal relevance of time is only meaningful to us and our close ones. Read the death notices in the local daily paper and we soon see the personal relevance of time in all those lives.


How time is relevant determines how we spend our lives; yes, we are drawing down our account of breath; only journeying toward maturity is really relevant.


In the theophanic we can thank God for creation, time, and space. We thank him, too, and our parents, for initiation. In eternity we may, indeed, thank ourselves for the acceptance of God-infused wisdom of journeying in maturity whilst we were here.


The personal relevance of time is viewed differently from eternity: what did we do with our lives; did we take the process of maturity—the chief life aim—seriously?


© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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