For it is by grace you have been saved...

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for χρόνος

I know this is cheating.  It’s a Greek word, and the Greek X actually makes a “Ch/K” sound.  But have you seen the words in English that start with X?  Seriously.  There are more of them than I realized, but the vast majority are technical and scientific terms that when I looked up the definitions, I then had to look up the definitions of the words in the definitions to try and understand what they were talking about!

Anyway: χρόνος is the Greek word for “time.” It's pronounced "Chronos" which is were we get "chronology" and so on.  And I chose to post about time because it's about time I posted about time.  Seriously, time is a fascinating thing. And a powerful one.

In the well known encounter between Bilbo Baggins and the mysterious Gollum in Tolkien's "The Hobbit", the two get into a game of riddles.  And one point Gollum asks a really tough one and and he gets excited thinking he may have won the game (and then he gets to eat Bilbo, but anway...) The riddle goes like this:
‘This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays kings, ruins towns,
And beats high mountain down.’
Bilbo is trying desperately to think of the answer, going through all the big, bad giants and monsters he can think of, but he can't guess it.  As Gollum presses him for an answer, Bilbo cries out "I need more time" realizing then that "time" is indeed the answer. A powerful thing.  And yet a simple one.

And a fascinating one. Every second is the same as the last, every minute the same, every day comes and goes with the same length of time.  And yet we perceive those things very differntly.  Sometimes time seems to "drag" (like when reading this blog) while other times it seems to "fly."  But it really does neither. It just is.  Steady progression.  One minute into the next. In the words of  the Steve Miller Band: "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' Into the future." 

Of course, that's unless you have the privilege of doing a little time travel. That has been the issue of countless speculations and novels and essays and TV shows and movies.  The ability to leave this progression of time and enter the timeline at some other designated point. And whether such a trip would have any affect on said time lines.  It all gets a little fuzzy, even for the experts.
One of the better known quotes from Doctor Who is during a fan favorite episode called "Blink" when the 10th Doctor is trying to explain time travel to a novice. He says:  "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... timey wimey... stuff."  That's right, a Time Lord, the chief expert on time in the universe, can only come up with wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. 

Anyway, the one true expert on time is the One who invented it.  God is the One who put it into motion, who rules supremely over every moment of it, and is working faithfully to bring it all to the exact point He determined from the beginning to bring it. 

God has set a day for the return of Christ, the day when all things will be made new, the day when His Kingdom will be established and His rightful reign recognized and resumed.  And it will happen in the perfect time.  And then the people of God, those for whom Christ came and died, will take up residence with Him for all eternity.  A place where "χρόνος" as we know it will cease to exist.  Eternity: now there's a concept that will blow your mind. 

1 comment:

Gregg Metcalf said...

Very good X post. they seem to be the hardest. Good definition!