When was the last time you reflected on your life, your age, your place in history and your relationship with Christ? Infant Amnesia keeps most of us from having memories of our birth and infancy. Some of us have memories of our lives at an exceedingly early age but most people do not. My first memory that I can easily recall was at 4 years of age, standing in the back door of a house looking out at snow piled high around the house.
The spark of life given to us by God initiates the continuum, the story that will be our lives. Whether it will end in miscarriage and unrealized our we die as an infant or we live only a few years and die from illness or accident is known only by God. His purposes in allowing biology to work the way it does is couched in mystery just as the intricacies of the incarnation of Christ is a great mystery.
Each of us are on a line, a temporal continuum checking off the moments, hours, days, and years until our death and departure from this life into the next. Biologically as human beings we develop mentally and physically based on a broad set of circumstances of environment and culture and family. Our sin nature dominates us from infancy and will only be dethroned (but not eliminated) when we choose a life of faith and follow Christ. Our spiritual growth as Christians is complex as well and can be derailed by us or many outside forces. The powers and principalities both human and satanic are always exerting pressure on our will and moral compass to abandon Christ and go our own way.
Yet in all this God the Father is Sovereign, Christ is at his right hand in the flesh and in our world and in us the The Person of the Holy Spirit constantly strives with us and the people around us.
We all generally learn as we go, hindsight often a good teacher and sometimes we even receive wisdom from our elders, if we will listen.
Our world is a dangerous place both physically, mentally, and spiritually, it is extraordinarily complex. The Grand Weaver, the Triune God is using his meticulous providence to influence us without controlling us. Again there is much mystery and the mechanics of the spiritual world, of which we are a part are beyond our understanding.
Science is a human revealing/discovery of what God has created. It is like peeling back the layers of an onion. How far we can peel back the layers is questionable. Most of creation is well beyond our cognitive ability to analyze and understand. Using mathematics to guess at what a distant planet etc. is like for example is far from an empirical analysis and therefore shows the limitations of our intellect and physical self. Many things in our world, in creation are only understood in a mechanical sense. Much that is immaterial, transcendent, unseen in nature is not understood or explainable by empirical means. Even the so called Quantum sciences, mechanics etc. is only vaguely understood.
We get glimpses of it. Chaos theory, complexity theory is but a glimpse of what is behind the vail. We have recently discovered that a particle can be two places at once- super position. What many God denying scientists fail to realize is that what they are seeing glimpses of is glimpse of God at work, his meticulous providence.
Our human consciousness that is “The Hard Problem” is no doubt is a fundamental aspect of creation. Philosopher Colin McGinn says we will never understand consciousness. I agree that is self-evident. Many like William Dennett have tried to explain it away but it is only an opinion, a theory without empirical evidence. Trying to throw logic on the fires of reality.
Complicit in our story is the world, the flesh, and the devil. We live in a combat zone that we choose to be blissfully unaware of. Western culture, even most Christians have relegated the Invisible realm to folk lore. Thereby giving the Satanic entities greater influence over us and our world.
Being in the world, your first person experience of living is unique to you. For example you may see red differently than the way I do. That is comprehensive across all our experiences and lives. A good illustration is children in the same home develop vastly different personalities and perceptions of life, sometimes drastically different.
What we experience and our being in that slice of NOW becomes part of our memory, good and bad. These things relating to our unique identity will go with us into eternity.
Right now as I write this and eventually as your read this your life is slipping away toward death. We can’t possibly as finite creatures see, understand, and comprehend the depth and width of our lives and all that it includes. Some of us must merely just survive.
Reflection then is often hard to come by, yet we must try. Most of us are so intoxicated with life, so overly ambitious to gain status or material possessions we look right past the obvious. One great benefit of this pandemic is God has used it to rock our world and make us slow down, reflect, look at reality as it is. We may die, we may die tomorrow from COVID-19 so wake up!
In every age and stage of life we face challenges and temptations should we live that long. Young people are told to flee youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:22) and the middle-aged are warned about the many sins and temptations of this life (Mark 4:19).
In our youth life is new and exciting and the possibilities seem endless until reality sets in.
In Psalm 71, we find just such a senior who is cast down by life’s events: increasing outward and inward troubles (vv. 4, 10–11, 13) together with failing strength (v. 9). And yet he turns again and again to God. The point here is God is our refuge in life, in our lives as we age. But this is not automatic we must daily or frequently go to God, pray to Christ so as you age and grow weaker your refuge truly is in Christ! The Lord strengthens us unto old age.
As we age, we encounter lonely years as our parents have died. Perhaps our siblings have also exchanged time for eternity. Your children have grown up and moved away and you have an empty nest. Friends have died or don’t have enough strength to come to visit. Long, quiet empty days turn into weeks, months, and years.
The reality of our unique soul and spirit, what makes us US will no longer be in this place with these people. We will be outside of time, something which we have never experienced. It’s a one way journey at least for now. What will it be like to be disembodied? You see the first person being in the world will have transitioned to being in another way. Someday we all we know this quite different reality.
Is it time for you to review your life, even write an autobiography? Be reflective, stand back and look at all your years of living, all the adversity and all the small but significant deaths we die daily of in the seasons of life.
The foundation of your relationship to God, is Christ, not anything else in your life, nothing, no person, nothing. Start today, name your sins using 1 John 1:9. Can’t remember your sins, that is covered in the scripture. Tell God you are a sinner and that you are weak and need him. Begin everyday in reading scripture, God’s holy Word, talk to him as you would any person. Be persistent and share your joy with someone else.