Time and Beyond Time
I love the theory of time travel. As a huge fan of Star Trek in most of its series, time travel came up quite a bit. It is fascinating to me to think about and even debate the nature of going back to the past or forward to the future and either being powerless to do anything (LOST’s season 5, for example) or possessing the ability to completely alter the current state of affairs (Back to the Future, for example). If you change something in the past, did you really change things or were you simply destined to do whatever it was you did? In fact, my favorite Star Trek spin-off is Deep Space Nine. If you are unfamiliar with DS9, there is a race of aliens who live in a wormhole near the space station that the bulk of the series takes place upon (at least through the first few seasons). These aliens exist outside of time, and are not bound by linear time’s constraints. Yesterday is a fresh to them as tomorrow is, and everything is in the moment. While it was initially jarring to try to make sense of the “Prophets” (what they were called), ultimately it has actually eased my understanding of how God can exist outside of our understanding of time.
Lewis makes some great statements in this chapter. If you hate temporal mechanics I would tell you to skip this chapter altogether, but it is really worth the read for those who desire a deeper understanding of how God can hear the prayers of everyone all at once. Lewis draws one analogy of an author who writes two sentences about their protagonist, but in between those sentences (though the story dictates an immediate connection between the sentences) the author might take a break for several hours to think about their protagonist and their life. Though the analogy breaks down (and Lewis points this out), I really like the example of using God as an author. That really is what He is. Lewis even attempts to help the reader understand how a God who exists outside of time could have been bound by time when spending 33 years here on earth in the body of Jesus Christ.
Ultimately, a brief, but head-squeezing chapter. What are your thoughts on God and time?
“If you picture time as a straight line along which we have to travel, then you must picture God as the whole page on which the line is drawn.” (page 168)