Tick or talk?

Work while it is day

Then those who revered the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name.

Tick Tock

Time just rhythmically marking repetition
today like yesterday
never was the way it was meant to be

Tick Tock
Can mark what begins… or
signal yet another groundhog day.

Tick Tock
But the people wake up, they begin
to work, to work together, they could even…
converse together.
Talk Talk.

Talk Talk
If they converse, the clock…
The clock? Where has it gone? It can’t be seen
It does not need to be referred to, it recedes
The day is prolonged, could…
the night be postponed?

The conversing people begin to determine
how long the day is.
That was the way it was meant to be.

Talk Talk.

Outside of Time!!??


Its summertime, so just thought I would run off a few off-the-cuff posts about whatever takes my fancy. Today in response to the phrase that one hears so often:

Of course God is outside of time.

Now what on earth would that mean? And where does that come from?

Disclaimer: the opposite statement is not without its problems too, with a more ‘how old is God then?’, kind of problem!

Second disclaimer: there are people we are on the same page with regard to our thoughts, others are in the same book, if you consider I am in another library all-together, it is summertime so just put up with it!

This idea of God outside / above time seems to come from the Hellenisation (big word for the non-word Greekifying) that took place as the Jewishly-rooted Christian faith moved into the world where Greek philosophy ruled. Change was considered to be a measure of imperfection, hence immutability (not subject to change) was necessitated as being applied to God in every area. Time being involved in the nature of change, God was outside of time. The Jewish view has a God whose character does not change. The same today as always, a God who can be trusted. But there is no difficulty in attributing change of mind, experience of emotion, a before and an after with regard to God. Those descriptions demand a God who lives in time.

(There is also an element of the further east one travels that the thinking of time is less linear and more circular. This probably also affects the view of time.)

A God who lives in time: the incarnation is a good case in point. There was when (a time word) the Logos was not incarnate as the human Jesus. The cross and resurrection likewise. They are past events for us… and for God (with respect to God’s experience). The body is no longer in the tomb, there was a before and an after. The parousia has not occurred yet, not for us, nor for the hosts of heaven.

Time does not affect God as it does us. Death is not God’s future, nor even an endless celebrations of birthdays – there is no growing old for God! A day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day: does not mean time is not part of God’s experience, but that his relationship to time is not our relationship to it. It is the same with kids… ‘is it Christmas soon’ is the kids perspective (and it can start on Boxing Day and every day thereafter!); the parent ‘glad to get that behind us, at least we have a year to prepare for the next one.’ (I am sure not true for many families, but the illustration of time and our relationship to it still stands; ‘next week’ is a lifetime away for a kid; for a parent it comes all too soon.)

The interaction with creation demands God and time. The future is still longed for by God, the day when there can be a culmination of the ‘project’ and his dwelling place will be among us in fullness. That future is our future and also God’s future.

Not wishing to get into too deep water, I don’t think that clever-man Einstein’s theory of relativity comes into play either. It seems to state that an event is relative to one’s ‘position’, so can be past for one person, present for another, and future for yet another (and by position of course we mean within the galaxy!). It is relative to each ‘person’ because of their finite position. God has no finite position, being omnipresent, so it seems to me that Mr. E’s clever theory does not speak to God and time. (BTW ‘theory’ in mathematics / science is not the same as the popular use of the word theory, it has been subjected to many tests and come out the other side, unlike my theories! Evolution, for example, cannot be dismissed simply as ‘it is only a theory’.)

How old is creation? What was God doing before creation? If God is in time when did that take place? OK, got me now… yes God inside time is also not without its difficulties either, but before making a response, time seems to me to be primarily defined not by a clock or a calendar but by how a sequence of events are experienced. And that is necessary for a relationship, a real relationship. Listening, talking, thinking, considering, responding, feeling… all time words, all words related to personhood, words applied to God.

So how old is creation? No idea. I kind of think it might be eternal – past and future. Why not? God worked with some pre-matter (chaos) in the ‘beginning’. Maybe the big bang was one of many… If that is the case then it gets round what was a God who is a Creator doing before there was a Creation? The eternal God has been eternally the Creator God, and if what I suggest is OK it does not mean that creation is God!

Or maybe we somehow have to posit a ‘before creation’ a God-not-subject-to-time’ but in the creation act God creates time and space and enters into time. (I wasn’t present… and all of it is a little beyond me, so I press that concept no further).

God inside of time does not solve every issue, but it seems to make a lot more sense to me. I relate to someone who begins the day with me. What are we going to do together; what real conversations will we have; what plans will be hatched? How can we work toward the same future?

Did I mention future in that last sentence? What do we know about the future? What does God know?

True north and a bear

Lee Ann Thompson highlighted this article that was published in the Gaurdian on August 30th:

Compasses to point true north for first time in 360-years

It begins with:

At some point over the next two weeks, compasses at Greenwich will point true north for the first time in about 360 years.

This will have ‘no impact on daily life’ the article states, though it is certainly ‘a once-in-a-lifetime event’. And ever so interesting and impacting for us. So I embark on a winding story, and I will keep it brief!

In 2018 we were with Lee Ann and numerous other people in Prague, invited by Cathrine Novotna, where there was a strong focus on shifting or aligning time for Europe. Many aspects seemed to come together and alongside immediate and ensuing signs a survey was sent out to EU countries as to what time they wished to be on. Ever so significant.

Three months later we were with a group called ORCAS (Orkney, Caithness and Shetland) who are seeking to take responsibility for the north of Scotland where they are based. It was great to be there – and for me of course having been born there it was unique. During the conference there was input from Bert McKaig who said the purpose of the people gathered was to set true north. That word penetrated our ears and hearts, and we took it on board for our own situation since. True words of that nature (nearly?) always have a sign that follows, the sign pointing to and re-enforcing the reality AND DRAWING THE REALITY TO THE SIGN.

Our prayer for the year since that word for our own situation has been for Madrid to align to true north, so that Spain will be aligned and we know that Spain is to line up in a direction that will enable there to be total right alignment across Europe. Gayle bought me a compass earring as a daily sign; I had my back tattooed with the words ‘true north’, something that goes back to November 2013 and understanding how even the current Catalan situation has to be resolved with a right alignment of Madrid… Then lo and behold the compass earring was lost. OK I lost it, coming clean I cannot blame the earring for that. I do have a birthday once a year and Gayle had ordered me two new earrings. A new compass earring, and a silver bear (the symbol of Madrid is the bear). Interestingly the bear arrived first so in it went with some great prayer from Gayle.

Growing up with clear skies – other than when the rain was present in abundance! – one learned early on to know where north was. Find the bear, follow the two final stars on the right and there is ‘true north’, the pole star. The bear leads you to find true north.

We have been praying for Madrid to find true north. A good prayer, and over the past year – read the last post – Spain has seemed to align in every direction other than true north. Hence extreme personal insult. Now there is a further element… Madrid be the bear you are meant to be. The statue in the middle of Madrid is called ‘el oso y el madroño’ – the bear and the strawberry tree. But the bear is not really el oso (male) but la osa – the female / mother bear. Likewise the the great bear constellation in Latin is the female bear.

There is something BIG happenning at this time. The sign is pushing us:

  • True north aligned at Greenwich (the place of time measurement).
  • True north is shifting eastward – there is a shift from the dominance of the Western mind-set. Intuition not simply academic.
  • The restoration of the feminine is key to enable us to find true north.

I wrote in the last post that it has been a challenging year (understatement!) but that does not make it a bad year. It raises questions of course, and the key questions will always be about whether we have missed something along the way or could have done more. There are many more bumps in the road coming these next months, and as I wrote that this morning in an email response to someone I saw that we (corporate we) have to learn how to ride a ‘hover board’. Follow the terrain but also be elevated above the terrain. We must follow what is happening but not dictated to by all the ups and downs.

Western democracy is creaking. Old institutions are being used to abuse, for the beastliness is coming out in force, that beastliness that dehumanises. The beast receives a voice (Revelation, so that there is only one voice that is heard – think about how the huge wrong alignments are silencing the voices of diversity at this time), but the Spirit gives to one and all so that ‘they all began to speak’.

I have been reflecting on the dream of the shift from 2010 to 2020 with the see-saw eventually balanced. The end of a decade and a level playing field, but I suggest opening the way for a ‘game’ to be played over not one but the next two decades. we were reflecting on this yesterday and noticed today in the Guardian article:

By 2040, all compasses will probably point eastwards of true north.

Signs point… and signs pull… Time and direction.