Our lives, it seems, are run by the clock, by time. And yet, interesting enough, scientists aren’t even sure what time is. That is, not what time is it, but rather, what is time itself?
This isn’t a new question, either.
"What, then, is time?” asked Augustine of Hippo. “The past is not, the future is not, the present—who can tell what it is, unless it be that which has no duration between two nonentities?”
Time is so close, so basic, that we can’t get behind it in order to understand it; hence, the concept itself remains as intangible as the three ways (past, present, future) we divide it.
According to Albert Einstein, space and time are a single entity (space time), and can’t exist without each other (try to envision time without space or space without time). In contrast, in the quantum realm, entities act as if time and space didn’t exist at all. Meanwhile, the faster one moves in a straight line at constant speed, the slower time moves. Or the stronger the gravitational field, the slower time moves too. (Time on the ground floor of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, moves more slowly than at the top.)
Time is real, not just in our minds, because Genesis one shows it existed before we did. But it’s only with our minds, and all their limitations, that we experience time, which is why we struggle comprehending it.
And if time is hard to comprehend, what about eternity? Eternity is more than just lots of time. Every ratio is a division of sorts, 1:3, 2:7, etc. But how do you divide finite time by eternity? It would be like, perhaps, trying to divide a finite number by infinity. (Does that even work?)
We were created to exist, someone had said, not in time but in eternity. Thus, when promised, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent,” (John 17:3; see also Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:30; John 6:54;Rom. 5:21; 1Tim. 6:19; 1 John 2:25), we’re being offered what we were to have had from the start.
Whatever the mysteries of time, how important that we do what’s right in each moment now because in an instant each moment is gone, and when taken together those moments will determine where we spend the eternity that follows.