Archive for July, 2019

THE SEVEN TIME STAGES OF MY LIFESPAN

Posted: July 6, 2019 in Uncategorized
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THE SEVEN TIME STAGES OF MY LIFESPAN – Some stray thoughts about time and Eternity

Time Abandoned © Image by Ross Cochrane

ETERNITY

Eternity – I am a thought in the eternal mind of God. It is as if time has stopped or at least this is the only way I can describe it because, here, time has never begun. It does not exist. It is not so much that I can move around quickly, but instantly, without reference to time taken, not even nano-seconds or light-year speed.

I have entrance into everywhere, in relationship with God. It is not so much that I can think clearly, but that thought pervades, and I have entrance into a great knowing of everything, at once.

Choices are made but they are eternal and not bounded by sinfulness.

It’s not that I love, but I have all love. Not so much that I am righteous, but I have access into the righteousness of Christ Himself and I am saturated with Him.

In Him I am not bounded by muscle-strength, but can accomplish all things, unbounded might.

Here, Truth is obvious to everyone. Here, unchanging perfection delights me entirely. Yet this is somehow only a beginning.

TIME STARTS IN THE WOMB

The Womb – Time has begun for me, and although it is infinitesimally slow, I feel the speed of everything, great days of tremendous energy, I have infiltrated another world where I belong, a spark of God’s destiny surges into the universe, into the smallness. All eternity still resides, planted within, and yet life has steps and I begin to fill boundaries rather than explore unbounded reaches.

I become atomic, anatomical, time-bound and space-bound. Great capacity of thought within limits. Shocking. Senses-bound, spinning, growing, weak, floating, my world is ignited, not instant anymore, time is not stopped, but beginning, slow slabs of time infused with startled thoughts which still have incredible insight and super speed, but somehow edge-slowed, like a slight breeze against a super-fast spinning planet.

Long days, absorbing everything, sensing everything, developing in everything.

TIME IS SLOW IN CHILDHOOD

Childhood – thrust into a new universe. Everything clearer, brighter, full, new. Long days of learning to live in a finite space.

Time is still slow, fortunately. Sleep-filled with regenerating, connecting pathways. Wake-filled with helplessness.

Eternity continues to turn the controls of time an infinitesimal step faster and it takes longer for me to adjust, yet days are still as decades, filling my life with sensations and thoughts, helping me adjust to this new experience.

TIME IS FASTER IN TEENAGE YEARS

Teenage Years – Then just as I have begun to find balance with time and learning my world, time speeds up again until I can no longer grasp all that needs to be understood within the days I have been given. I am floundering.

Days are still slow but some things are now lost and the doors to the eternal space within have become harder to access.

I have lost my memory of early childhood but I remember that at one point later on in my childhood, I heard the door of eternity slam somewhere deep within and now someone is knocking. I don’t have time to go and see who it is because I must rush to experience everything.

So much happening. Tastes of love and heartache. Time lost. Time wasted. Time found for some things and some people and not for others. All sorts of impromptu choices in a world where my mind is moving slower than the time I have to think.

At one point, I am alone and hear a voice from eternity as I read God’s Word and I am given a key to open once more the door. I find Christ standing there and we are connected in relationship. I want to be with Him in eternity but instead He walks through the door to be with me.

Life and love makes sense and I move towards my destiny.

TIME IS FAST IN ADULTHOOD

Adulthood – Time speeds up and I slow down, realizing that I can never accomplish more than a day gives. Yet now, I get glimpses of eternity through the open door within and time is redeemed. A wonderful wife, children of my own, parents ushered into eternity. Ministry. Making a difference. Valued years.

TIME SPEEDS IN OLD AGE

Old Age – I am very slow and time very fast. My grandchildren grow taller, move faster, fill their lives with things I can barely keep up with. Rich experiences. Days are like moments. Eternity calls but Christ is here and I will stay wherever He is.

At one point, when time has become so fast, measured in nano-seconds, and I am so slow that I have almost stopped, I can no longer keep up. I fall, but He takes hold of my hand and I am ushered towards the door of eternity.

The transition through the door is jolting, almost violent, as time suddenly slows down again like the brakes of a huge plane rushing to a standstill on the runway. A huge Adrenalin-rush of life. My mind is infused with renewed energy and light. This door is where time slows to a stop and life speeds up until all is simply an instant.

TIME/ETERNITY

Eternity – Time has stopped for me. It does not exist here. It is not that I can move around quickly, but instantly. Without reference to time taken, not even nano seconds or light year speed, I have entrance into everywhere, in relationship with God.

It is not so much that I can think clearly, but that thought pervades, and I have entrance into a great knowing of everything, at once.

Choices are made but they are eternal and not bounded by sinfulness. It’s not that I love, but I have all love. Not that I am righteous, but I have access into the righteousness of Christ Himself and I am saturated with Him.

In Him I am not bounded by muscle-strength, but can accomplish all things, unbounded might.

Here, Truth is obvious to everyone. Here, unchanging perfection delights me entirely. Here I recall that life makes sense completely in Christ. I have co-operated with Him in order to make a difference in time and eternity.

This is life to the full.

Cogs of Time © Image by Ross Cochrane

P.S. This last stage of my lifespan I am yet to experience, but looking forward to it.

Pastor Ross

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Genesis 37:36 – DIARY OF AN OVERCOMER – Part 7 

Victim or Overcomer? © Image by Ross Cochrane

I imagine that this is the diary of Joseph, writing about the events of his new life in Egypt, extrapolated from the Biblical narrative, and with my personal reflections.  

Diary of Joseph: I am still alive. That’s something, I suppose. No amount of pleading, either with my brothers or my distant relatives, the Ismaelite and Midianite traders, would persuade them to let me go. We may have a common ancestor but obviously business is more important to them than blood ties. I am now twice sold.  

I have been sold to a man called Potiphar. He is some kind of high-ranking officer in this land called Egypt. I am picking up the language quickly. There is no means of escape and I am missing home and even my brothers more than I could have imagined.  

Egypt 

It seems as if my dream of leadership is on a journey in a strange land. God is all I have left in whom I can trust. What is He trying to teach me? What lessons of leadership and service am I to learn from these strange circumstances in which I am found? 

This place and culture is truly amazing. There are beautiful homes, great pyramids and a sophisticated form of government. Most Egyptians are farmers. They are not nomadic.  

Egyptian homes are constructed of mud-brick designed to remain cool in the heat of the day. The walls are painted white and covered with dyed linen wall hangings. The floors are covered with reed mats. It’s all very clean and ordered.  

I am expected to bath in the Nile river using a pasty soap, and to shave all hair from my body for cleanliness. Then I must use perfumes and ointments to cover any body odor. My clothes are very simple, bleached white material. Potiphar and his family wear wigs and jewelry and paint their faces.  

The food is good and varied, bread, vegetables, fruit, wine and meat. 

There is obviously a well-organized trade between Egypt and other lands. Egyptians depend upon merchants for many different kinds of supplies, including slave labor.  

Learning and intellectual pursuits are valued by the Egyptians but their religion binds them to continually think about death rather than life. I have never before seen such craftsmanship, carvings and idol worship. They have an idol for every sphere of life and a dark spiritual blindness that pervades their thinking. 

Victim or Overcomer? 

I think I have good reasons for feeling victimized, but I will not be ruled by such unhelpful emotions. Yes, I was obviously not liked by my brothers. Yes, they rejected my overseers role given to me by my father. Yes, they were negative and cruel and I was thrown into a pit. Yes, they sold me as a slave. Yes, I am miles from home with no way of getting back.  

I could become negative about my circumstances but I will not. I still have God, who loves and cares for me. I still have a God-given dream, and a bent towards leadership. I will seek to line up with the destiny God has chosen for me, not get depressed about what I don’t have. I will lift my thinking to the level of my belief and seek to serve Him and others around me rather than build my life around my problems or my past.  

So rather than continually trying to get free and asking why, I have chosen to live free and ask what God is saying.  

Lord, help me wage a war on my negative thoughts, the strongholds of my human reasoning that try to enslave me and to war against every obstacle that keeps me from trusting in the freedom I have in knowing You. Just as I have been captured physically, I pray that You would help me capture my rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey You. And after I have become fully obedient, I will truly live free inside. 

What will happen to me? I don’t know. Only God can answer that question so I will not be ruled by what may or may not happen. Today I decide to fix my thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. I will think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. I will not be conformed to this world in which I find myself, but I will be transformed by the renewing of my mind as God shows me each step of the way ahead. 

TO BE CONTINUED… 

Pastor Ross