Friday, December 31, 2010

"2011 and the Concept of Time" by Garris Elkins

This morning I was on my Twitter account and saw that some people on the other side of the globe had already begun to celebrate the New Year. Here on the West Coast of the United States we are still several hours away from 2011. Each New Year's Eve I make sure to be in bed early so I can walk the abandoned streets of my city in the quiet of New Year's morning . I am not a party animal.

As I thought of people half way around the globe already celebrating 2011, I realized the coming celebrations revolving around the earth take place depending on what time zone you live in. The New Year is happening in multiple locations in this migrating global celebration which makes me ask a question - "At what time, and on what day, would you celebrate the New Year in the depths of outer space?" Who sets the calendars and clocks out there?

Space, like all created things, is not eternal because God spoke the heavens into existence. Anything created by God in our dimension of time and space is not eternal. While we like to think that outer space is heaven it is not. Heaven is very different and represents a higher reality because it will remain forever.

As I think about what I am writing I find it somewhat amusing to imagine looking from space to earth as it spins and seeing people celebrate the New Year and yelling, "Happy New Year!", from multiple time zones. This amusement is magnified when I think of someone in the future being on a distant planet and sending Happy New Year greetings back to us from a time zone light years away - "Happy New Year from 2711!"

From an eternal reality we live in a New Day that began at the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is continually unfolding. We live in a day without a sunset. This New Day will never end and will continue to expand forever in the presence of God.

I enjoy the reality that God created a time and calendar structure for our lives. In the continuum of time, I have a birthday each year (January 1st) and each year I use the calendar to remember when Jan and I were married (August 25). For those of us bought with the blood of the Lamb Who was slain from the foundation of all that was and is to come, we are also clocking to the beat of a different timepiece that tells me each day, "This is the Day the Lord has made (the year of 2011 included) and I will rejoice and be glad in it."

I am happy for a new year and for the New Year celebration, but I'll be watching the ball drop in New York on tomorrow's news - I will be in bed.

Happy New Year!


  1. Henri Nouwen spoke of "clock-time" and God-time. We say "time goes by quickly" or, "time goes by slowly." But from God's perspective, time (clock-time) goes by neither slowly nor quickly. God has an entirely different perspective on time. This morning I thanked God now (clock-time) for what He, in His goodness, will bring to me in 2011. God already knows. Happy birthday my good friend and may 2011 bring you things beyond what you can imagine or pray for.

  2. Wow, Garris! Good stuff indeed! I may have to steal part of that for tomorrow's message on the grace of God.

    But still, I am grateful for New Years, New Days, and Fresh Starts.

    And Happy Birthday and Happy New Year my friend!