For in him we live, and move, and have our being Acts 17:28
It’s something I can never finish pondering. It’s interesting that God has given us a sense of self-sufficiency, because it’s not real. We tend to feel responsible for our own movements and actions. From one day to the next, we plan and we calculate, figuring out the next move, the best strategy, the wisest decisions. But isn’t it humbling to realize that without Him, my mouth can’t speak, my eyes can’t see, my heart can’t beat. In fact, the very neurons of my brain cannot even fire to instigate those processes without…God.
Yes, God gives us brains and resources, and yes, He intends for us to use them. But God, and only God, is the life that pulses within this body. Life—that indefinable spark that separates growth and re-creation from deterioration and decay. Man can never isolate exactly what determines when it will extinguish or when it springs into flame. Only God can control that.
When the spark is extinguished, I sometimes marvel at the picture that is left. He looks so…Real! It’s as if he is just about to open sleepy eyes and grin, or to pop eyes wide and yell, “Boo!” then chuckle delightedly at the surprise of onlookers. We see the shell, and can hardly believe that the spark is no longer there. We are so used to seeing that solid body instilled with Life that we forget that true Life is only in God, and has nothing to do with flesh. That life, that gift from Him, is eternal, but the body it inhabits is not. It’s the irony of life on earth that the things that seem the most real and lasting are actually the most fleeting. This three-dimensional body is doomed to decay, while the spirit, which we can neither see nor measure, is timeless.
We think of three-dimensional things as being Real and Solid. We feel the ground beneath our feet and bask in the stability, the immovable solidness of it. We hold a gold piece and feel wealthy, while an electronic deposit seems a bit dreamlike and hard to grasp. Our three-dimensional world is comfortable to us. In this world, we can measure every visible physical aspect of an object. We can analyze it and understand it to some degree.
The thing we really cannot understand is the spirit. It arrives and departs without our approval. We cannot see it, but only the effect that it has. God’s infusion of spirit changes a lump of clay into a Being. And the departure of the spirit transforms that person into a lump of clay once again.
These bodies we inhabit are, in God’s eyes, disposable. They serve their purpose only as containers for spirits who are passing through Time. Time, like our bodies, seems very real to us, but to God it is nothing. It is simply a concept imposed on this world. It is not truly important, and will pass away. The more measurable something is, the less it matters.
And that is the thing that makes the departure of those we love endurable. We know that they are now outside of time, where there is no more waiting for the coming of Christ. We look forward to the day when we, too, will not have to wait.