The debate surrounding God's relationship with time is an old one. Many great minds have invested hours, years, careers and lifetimes debating whether God is within time (temporal), above and beyond time -- timeless (atemporal) -- or on God's own time (omnitemporal). From Saint Augustine to C.S. Lewis to Robert Russell, this great debate has raged for ages.
Some argue that God does not exist within any one specific chronological or sequential moment in time. Others expand this concept, holding the position that God experiences the events of the first century and those of the 21st century simultaneously in the Lord's divine time. But as someone who is deeply concerned with how we spend our time -- more specially, how we spend each of the 86,400 seconds we are blessed with -- I am amazed less with the weightiness of the various positions on this topic and their corresponding arguments as much as I am with how much time people have spent on a moot point. For, whether God is contained within any given moment or if God is beyond such constrictions, we can only experience God in what Reverend Albert B. Cleage Jr. called the "Eternal Now."
In our limited consciousness we feel, sense, interact with, call upon, receive blessings and direction from God in the ever-renewing moment of the moment. For us mortals, the past is gone and the future is not yet here. All action, reaction, thought, feeling, emotion and accomplishment are all experienced in the present. Courage, patience, faithfulness, wisdom and all other virtues are known to us and by us in "the Now." Hence, "the Now" is where the power is. "The Now" is where the energy is. "The Now" is where the action is. "The Now" is where God is.
This is why each of our 86,400 seconds is so valuable and precious. All the power and energy and ideas and inspiration that directly impact the quality of our lives intersect with our consciousness in our present. Thus, how we invest ourselves in each new moment determines whether we are accessing God's power and using it to our advantage or wasting golden opportunities with pointless activities, like debating where God resides in relation to time.
This debate is akin to how many of us spend our time -- or more pointedly, how we waste our time. We treat time like it is a renewable commodity, when time is actually one of the most finite, here-one-minute-gone-the-next realities there is. In fact, most of the world in which we live is finite. What is timeless about this life? Not much, perhaps just all-you-can-eat buffets and roaches. Certainly not time itself. Add to this the fact that none of us know how much time we have, and it is a minor miracle that so many souls have spent so much of their 86,400 seconds contemplating an answer that we could never ascertain.
Philip Yancey's book Disappointment with God and C. S. Lewis' work Mere Christianity put forth the proposition that God is timeless. The Christian philosopher Augustine of Hippo began his journey down this rabbit hole by asking the question "What was God doing before He created Heaven and Earth?" He concluded that time, as a part of creation, is a reality that does not apply to God. Other theologians and deep thinkers have posited the view that God is both in time and above time -- experiencing our realities as they occur while also possessing the divine ability to maneuver in and out, back and forth, over and under and through time.
Whether they are right or wrong about this debate on God and time matters not. Persons who are most effective at living lives of purpose and power don't dally with such agenda items. They live their lives in ways that reflect a God that is in the moment. There are a number of bible verses such as Revelations 1:4, Revelations 4:8, Psalm 90, Jude 25, and 2 Peter 3:8 that speak to the fact that God is in THE NOW WE LIVE.
People who live on purpose are far too busy experiencing God's power, forgiveness, encouragement, direction and nourishment in real time, Now time -- the only time we know, and the only time we can feel God active in our lives.
Lavaille Lavette is an author, educator, inspirational speaker with time management expertise, and an advocate for various charitable causes. Lavaille has combined two of her passions with the creation of the 86400 Seconds Movement and Tour, "Making a Difference, Being The Difference." (86400movement.com) The movement is the instigator for a renewed life of intention and relevance. Her upcoming book, 86400, Manage Your Purpose to Make Every Second of Each Day Count, offers guidance and examples on how to live every second of each day purposefully and with renewed life.
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