First Tuesday in Advent
Psalm 90; 2 Samuel 2:18-29
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2
It’s a chosen delight of mine to try to break my brain in half thinking about eternity. I can mostly take on eternity in the proceeding direction; it almost makes sense that things would kind of keep rattling on even after the world gets used up and everybody dies or gets reduced to one of those post-apocalyptic food-is-currency movie scenarios. What I can’t do is go backwards and arrive at some sense of beginning. Our scripture begins with a beginning, making it even harder. Before the beginning. There’s your brain-melt for the day.
I’ve been working on a project that wrestles with the tension between the natural world and transcendence, and I think that tension is where the switch flips for me. I can deal with beginning and end points for our natural world, but I can only sit in amazement of a transcendent eternity.
“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?’” 2 Samuel 2:18
I resonate deeply with David’s reflection in this prayer. At the end of any thought process about eternity, I usually manage to come around to a good head-shake about whether my life has any real significance. Why am I trying so hard to accomplish things that won’t be remembered? Who do I think I am? And then I’m reminded of forever, and the realization that where there was nothing, there was one day something. And somewhere in that, I came to be. And I realize that the odds against me existing speak volumes about the significance of the fact that I do.
How do you process “forever”?
How do you find significance in the light of our distinctly temporal existence?