By Fred Pruitt
To grab hold of time is like trying to catch up to a merry-go-round, or snatching a sock out of a spinning washer.
We cannot identify any particular moment as “this moment,” because the “moment” we think about it, it is already past.
The only reality is the present moment, but if you think of that only physically, then it is something that has no existence. The “present moment” is always dynamic, changing, moving, expanding, retreating, and resting. It is never something you can catch and put in a bottle and then take it out next year and it will still feel and smell and look the same. That’s why you have to smell the roses when they’re blooming.
In the physical I have the sense of racing against time. I am such and such an age; therefore I am this or that. I have this much time to do that or this. When I was twenty or so I knew I was mortal, sort of, but death seemed an infinity away. Now a very quick forty-plus years later, experience-laden but hardly a stitch wiser, mortality pulls on every nerve. Time and mortality are really one thing, aren’t they? Time testifies to an end to things, and mortality is its most potent brother.
Ah, but just here the Loving Father has another of His jokes, because time, in which all the sorrow resides, is suddenly found to be no more, and mortality is swallowed up of life.
I always thought there would be some great cataclysm before that would happen. Perhaps one day there will be a great gigantic for-all-to-see event, which will reveal that to all the universe. In fact, I’m absolutely certain that there will be. But right now what I’m talking about is in the silence of hearts, with little fanfare, no big parades through town. Just the flood of light from God within the depths of our hearts, Who inundates us in silent awe, the indescribable One Who is beyond ourselves but more ourselves than we know ourselves to be.
(In other words, ONLY GOD is conscious of the fullness of who we are and the “fullness” of ourselves, which is why our life is “hid with Christ in God.” In every way imaginable and in the strongest language possible I can muster up, I mean to say that God the Father is Himself as Jesus Christ, Who in His death and resurrection has taken residence within us to be one person with you and me. There is only One Person revealing Himself as Love completely through an unnumbered multitude of creatures who testify of and demonstrate His Love. And we are those creatures, who all reflect as an image the Same One Person.)
Again, grabbing onto time as our reality is like trying to grab a sock out of a spinning washer. Chances are, if you manage to grab onto anything at all, you’ll wrench your arm out of joint, or worse, get it caught in the spin.
People think God is not real and time is, but it is just the opposite. Time is the most fleeting thing there is — in fact “it” isn’t even a “thing.” It’s like a revolving door which never stops. It never arrives. Time really never truly is.
So part of our training as sons of God is to learn to let go of time and everything about it, and to live in God who is both in time and not in time. (Of course, we don’t “train ourselves” in this. It just happens in God’s always unique-for-everybody training program.)
One of the advantages about the fact that time is somewhat indefinable and hard to pin down, is that the future is wide open.
But a disadvantage of time is that we think we are mired by the past. What has been must continue to be, is an oft-heard litany. You can’t change. Your ship sailed long ago, and you missed it.
But in Him we live outside of time and only “affected” by the God milieu. And that means that the past is in God, and the future is in God. That makes God the Living Reality of this current moment, and the past is Alpha and the future Omega.
And in the present moment is the Logos, the “Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee,” and this moment is God in His fullness. God is speaking, this moment, the Son, Who is Christ in You and Me.
In His Death and Resurrection He has come to live and walk in you and me and in so doing He is the light of the world and the salt of the earth. In us.
He walks outside of time in you and me, but in us He experiences time and all its futility, stress and sorrow. In us He reconciles the world to Himself. In us He fulfills His sufferings as well as His resurrection.
You don’t have to do a thing but at some point say, “Here am I, Lord, send me.” He does the rest.
Believe me. He does the rest. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
There really aren’t that many bells and whistles along the way to tell us we’re on the right path. There are wonderful assurances here and there, but they are soon forgotten, as the desert gets dry again.
There are no criteria other than Hebrews 11:6 — “He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Eventually we realize we cannot do even that – in fact believing God is much harder than keeping the Law – and in that giving up completely we find out it is even His faith that sustains us.
Anybody who gets through the desert alive knows that we are speaking of the Living Person here, no figment of anybody’s imagination and no boxed-up theological list of attributes. He is the God of the Living — the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the God of the Desert.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t do anything more in their lives than a little farming, sheep and cattle raising, and raising families. They were not heads of state, famous athletes, writers, rock stars, scientists, actors, doctors, etc. Most of their lives were spent doing very mundane things. They weren’t even preachers or ministers. They wouldn’t be famous or significant in any way in our modern world.
Yet the foundation of our faith is owed to them. Simple desert-nomads, who never wrote any books (not even a “Bible” book), made any cassette tapes, shot no video. Had no website.
How could the “faith-foundation” of the whole world be laid at the feet of a wandering desert pilgrim who never did a miracle, never changed any water to wine, never healed a sick person, never really did anything particularly exceptional except “believe” in an invisible intangible unprovable “God”?
Because that is exactly the point — Abraham didn’t do anything particularly “spectacular.”
He just “believed in the Lord.”
For Abraham, to “believe in the Lord” was all pervasive.
As it is for us. To “believe in the Lord” means that God Himself has brought about all and upholds all and has given His own Son to be the substance of this present moment – in us and in all things.
And here in this present moment is the liberty of time. Because out of the Spirit we speak the word of God as God’s reality breathed into this world of time.
In plain language I simply mean that God speaks out of His infinite Freedom within us the ongoing Life of the universe. The free-substance of God awaits our command, our word, and our committal, to begin forming itself into the reality we step into each successive moment.
Imagine that in your refrigerator and kitchen you have all sorts of things stored. You think, “I’ll make spaghetti tonight since I have all the ingredients here.” That’s your “word” as the god of your kitchen. So after a time, spaghetti, garlic bread and salad appear on the supper table, and everybody sits down to a big feast. Everything is like that.
Now time has become the servant. Before it was an enemy in our thinking. But now time is the clear path through which flows the river of God.
I live in time not to be mastered by it, afraid of it, cowering before it, but to clear my portion of the trail for this city of God we’re all working on. Somehow there is a flow of God’s anointed time from the antiquity of this world and from father Abraham, directly out of his spiritual loins and spilling into the womb of Christ in me. As Christ is birthed in me that time-flow continues, and it is now the time-flow of God spilling out into MY time, my universe, reconciling all those God gives me, and all is God-time, Spirit-permeated time.
“THIS is the day the Lord has made.”
That is absolutely literally true. THIS is the day.
The Lord has made THIS day.
Let us rejoice in it and be glad.
And know that our “times are in His hand.” (Ps 31:15)
“Time” is a chapter in my previous book, Hearts of Flesh, 2005, Authorhouse.