Outside of time, into eternity

Most of us are vigilantly aware of time. How fast it goes while on vacation or how slow it moves when stuck in class or a meeting. There’s a great conversation about time and timelessness between C. S. Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken in my favorite book, A Severe Mercy. Vanauken writes:

Time is our natural environment. We live in time as we live in the air we breathe. And we love the air–who has not taken deep breaths of pure, fresh country air, just for the pleasure of it? How strange that we cannot love time. It spoils our loveliest moments.

He goes on to quote from a letter C. S. Lewis wrote him,

Do fish complain of the sea for being wet? Or if they did, would that fact itself not strongly suggest that they had not always been, or would not always be, purely aquatic creatures?

Vanauken continues,

Then, if we complain of time and take such joy in the seemingly timeless moment, what does that suggest? It suggests that we have not always been or will not always be purely temporal creatures. It suggests that we were created for eternity. Not only are we harried by time, we seem unable, despite a thousand generations, even to get used to it…We aren’t adapted to it, not at home in it. If that is so, it may appear as a proof, or at least a powerful suggestion, that eternity exists and is our home.

What more can I add? Inside all of us is that aching separateness that will not be completely filled until we are outside of time and into eternity. It’s something that I, as a Christian, long for. This song touches on that and more –

I love the orchestration of this music! It gets me excited for that final, great day! Did you catch that second verse?

He will come to claim us with a rushing wind
Blown like fields of wheat, the world with bow and bend
Held between our joy and disbelief
Every trembling heart will finally face the same way
On the great day

That touches on the amazing day referenced in Philippians 2:9-11, when every knee will bow & every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. The question is, when that day comes, will you bow in joyful surrender or in disbelieving acknowledgment? If you are not sure or don’t like your answer, I’d love to talk more about it with you.

One of my favorite songs from an OLD Christmas program says this,

Outside of time, stood One with loving eyes, adoring. And into time He came, with love, imploring. Now better than the dream you’ve dreamed and longer than all time is life in Jesus Christ!

Leave a comment


  1. Thanks for introducing me to that fantastic song!

  2. Matt and I absolutely love the book A Severe Mercy, too!


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  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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