A wedding, a holiday or even a haircut sometime this year are now a possibility here in England, as are a return to education or to work; the Government’s plans for resuming everyday life have finally been revealed. But we mustn’t forget that for some the pandemic has meant the loss of employment, for others the loss of loved ones, and for many the current lockdown has felt like an eternity.

But what is eternity? Although it’s not something we think about every day, it’s a reality that will one day be very real to every one of us. Take the poem “Time’s Paces” for example. Here’s a version of the poem that was first written by Henry Twells (1823 -1900), and can be found on a clock in Chester Cathedral:

When as a child I laughed and wept,

time crept.

When as a youth I dreamed and talked,

time walked.

When I became a full-grown man,

time ran.

And later as I older grew,

time flew.

Soon I shall find while travelling on,

time gone.

And then Eternity.

As young adults we can’t imagine growing old; it won’t happen to us. Then days seem to slip by and we reach forty sooner than we thought. At fifty, weeks seem to rush past. At sixty, months seem to fly away. At seventy, years seem to disappear. And the truth is that there’s nothing we can do about it. No matter how much we want to cling onto our youth, time passes at an alarming rate. So, the best thing to do is to make good use of the time we have. Someone once said: “Those who know the value of time use it in preparation for eternity.”

Preparation for eternity? Rick Warren agrees: “Just as the nine months you spent in your mother’s womb were not an end in themselves but preparation for life, so this life is preparation for the next.” In the same way that we can’t put off our later years, neither can we put off eternity. But neither time nor eternity has to be a negative experience. The ancient scriptures tell us that:

“God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)

Eternity is something that we can’t experience here on Earth – our lives are bound by time; yet God has dropped the concept into our hearts. He is the One who inhabits eternity, and who longs to welcome us into His presence when our time here is over. So how do we prepare for eternity? By getting to know our Creator:

Try praying – ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
• Invite Him into the driving seat of your life.
• Admit your failures – none of us are perfect.
• Thank Him for loving you – yes, He really does!
• Or click here to find out more.

May your lockdown soon end, your new job be found, your tears wiped away, and may you know that you’re safe, held in your Creator’s hand, secure for all ETERNITY.

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