Well, I’m running out of time, so maybe if I write faster about it, I’ll find additional time – perhaps I need to eat more bananas, too (keep reading) ! Alas, time management is not today’s subject – time itself is the focus. What is it? Where did it come from – is it going to end? If this theme, existence, purpose and destiny sounds familiar, it should as we apply those questions to time.
Definitions and Properties
According to Webster’s Dictionary, time is: “1a, the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues; b, a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future”. Time, as it relates to this post, refers to either a measurable period or a sequence (duration). In his theories, Einstein indicates time is relative and effected by both the relative speed of persons observing an event (an action, process or condition) and the gravitational force near that event.
Can we travel thru time? The recent motion picture, “Interstellar”, depicts some of the time and gravitational challenges associated with “space” travel. Stephen Hawking has published extensively on time and time travel. He believes that “time’s arrow” is unidirectional (forward), which could make travel into the future possible, but not into the past. There, one runs into many conundrums, like killing ones grandparents, etc. A somewhat unidirectional “times arrow” also appears in an old saying – time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. At least I hope it doesn’t fly like a boomerang – oops, at many levels, including Yogi’s “déjà vu all over again”. Note, however, if there are other universes, “parallel” to ours, perhaps even connected by wormholes, some physicists postulate that almost anything is possible, including travel into the past !
Did time have a beginning and will it have an end? Since we live inside a four dimensional space-time and space (the physical universe) had a beginning, is time eternal ? Does anything exist outside of our space-time physical reality? If it was created, then at least it’s Creator would logically be greater i.e., of a higher dimensionality, than His creation. Within this worldview, the markers with which to measure the passage of time are first cited in Genesis 1:4-5; 16-19 and one day they will cease to exist. I get the sense that, to the Creator, time is fairly irrelevant – behavior is what’s important. He doesn’t say much specifically about time, other than in speaking about His eternality, He says that to Him, “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
Do we, as humans, enter and exit time, at, for instance, physical birth and death? It depends on your worldview. Physically speaking, we leap into space-time (existence) at conception – a fairly straightforward idea. At physical death, one’s worldview becomes vital. If it’s the end of everything, then what was the point of existing. As I interpret the Biblical worldview in this arena, what seems both logical and consistent with Scripture is that at physical death, one exits space-time. Outside of space-time, sequence (see Webster’s definition, above) is preserved, and the next conscious event in the sequence, for every person, is judgment by the Creator of our universe, as to one’s final dispensation – eternal life or eternal death. If time has any value, that value should be associated with what we do with it – let’s not waste it!