SIMPLIFIEDexplanation: Time and God
Welcome to SIMPLIFIEDexplanation, a new series where I’m going to try to take some Biblical things that are hard to wrap your head around, and find a way to explain them, simply.
When I was a kid, it always bothered me that God existed before Creation, and would exist after it. That God has always existed and will always exist.
Because, in my little dumb kid mind, it didn’t make sense that God didn’t have a beginning or an end. Everything has a beginning and an end. But it is more accurately put by the posters for the third Matrix movie: Everything that has a beginning has an end. God doesn’t have a beginning, therefore He doesn’t have an end. Get it? No? Ok…
We as humans understand the concept of beginning and end, because we understand the concept of time, and how time moves. You know that verse, there is a time for everything, blah, blah, blah. You get it. It’s time. But here’s the thing: Time didn’t always exist. Time is a creation of God’s, just as everything else is His creation.
Imagine the whole of the universe is a bubble (thank you, Doctor, for the reference).
Everything that exists, everything God created, is within this bubble- time included. God exists outside of the bubble. It isn’t that God has infinite time, it is that God is without time, whereas we are within time. God it time-less. He exists outside of the time/space continuum. He created the time/space continuum. Got it? No? Maybe one more example?
Take a piece of paper. Draw something on that paper. Doesn’t matter what. Go on, I’ll wait………………….-check’s watch-…………..-sighs-……. Ok. Now, look at your drawing. That drawing is the universe. Everything about that drawing’s universe is contained on that piece of paper. You do not exist on the paper, you are holding the paper. You exist beyond the paper. God is holding the piece of paper containing our universe. Everything about our universe exists on His cosmic piece of paper, time included. He is not constrained by the contents of the universe, just like you are not constrained by the contents of your doodle on the paper. Got it? Good.
Now, how does this affect your day to day? Short story, it doesn’t.
Long story: God knows all. He knows everything that has ever happened. He knows everything that will ever happen. He knows the choices you will make before you make them. How? Because He exists beyond time. Time, for God, is like a finished book. It isn’t that He knows what you will do because He forces you to do this or that. Remember, we have free will. But for God, we’ve already made our decisions. Our paths have already been taken, and completed.
Time is a finished book, and we are on page 394.
But that doesn’t mean God cannot influence us, and guide us. Of course He can. He’s God! God can do anything. Because that book that He has, He is the Author of it. Just how you can always go back to that drawing and add something, God can always reach down to us and steer us in the right direction. If only we ask him to.
But if we are only in the book, or on the paper, how will He know we need Him? In the same way we can look at a drawing, and it speaks to us. In the same way that, when we read a book, we become one with the characters. Just because God created it all, doesn’t mean He isn’t close to us. He is closer than you think.
This has been a simplified explanation.