I’ve been thinking about heaven…which is a misleading name I think because it probably isn’t in “the heavens” at all…at least not in the sense of sitting on clouds, playing harps, and eating marshmallows.
Particularly, I have been thinking about TIME in heaven: and I am pretty sure they don’t have it. Not just like there are no clocks, and nobody cares if you are late…but really like there is no time passing.
You know when we were little and we tried to count as high as we could…but eventually we just got bored with it and so we tacked on “infinity” as if it were the last number. Or in an argument we would go back and forth a few times “yes” – “no” – “yes” – “no” -yahah” – “nuhuh” – “yahuh” and then someone would throw out the “no times infinity” which could only be beat by “yes, a hundred times infinity.” And by the time you counted to as high as you could “times infinity” you forgot what you were arguing about…
….did all kids do that or was that just my math-geek sister and I?
Anyway, somewhere along the line we learned that infinity isn’t really a number in the same way that one hundred–or even one hundred billion–is. Rather, it means that something just goes on and on and on…infinitely.
I think that this definition of “infinity” is usually how we tend to think of “eternal,” too…that the eternal life we receive as believers goes on and on forever. And it does. But not in the sense that you keep adding years until you lose count. I think it goes on and on forever in BOTH (all?) directions. Not only is there no end, there is also no beginning….and so there is no time.
But that’s a really difficult thing to think about: what it would be like not to be “timebound.” And how, then, does our life on earth–which is entirely dictated by the passing of time–fit in?
Sometimes I think that when we die what happens is we “jump ahead” to the time that Jesus comes back and institutes the new earth. (But it isn’t really like jumping ahead because there is no time travel because time does not exist, mind you).
But if there is no time, there would be no such thing as age, right? So then how old are we? Do we stay the age we were when we died? Do we get to pick our own perfect age? Is there such a thing? Or maybe we are ageless: with the innocence and trust of babies and the wisdom and knowledge of the elderly. Is that even possible…to trust so blindly when you know so much? And if we are ageless, but still have bodies (which the Bible says we will), then what do we look like? Seventeen minus the big bangs and acne?
But it makes me kid of sad to think that maybe there will be no babies.
When Owen‘s mom and dad get to hold him again, will he be a baby, or will they be the same “ageless” age? What is the relationship of a parent and a child minus age? There ARE such relationships, right? I think there are…God just seems too big on relationships for our earthly ones to be forgotten entirely…but how will we recognize the ones we love if they don’t look like we remember them? Will we be able to see through one another…to recognize one another’s hearts?
What does my heart look like?