Friday, May 27, 2011

Eternity in Our Hearts

Where do dreams come from? What is fantasy? Everyone wishes that they were someone else, a better someone, a more powerful someone. This is part of the reason we read books, play games, and day-dream at the office. We have dreams for our children. We want them to live out dreams that we have had, experience things of which we were capable but missed along the way out of folly or cowardice. This is why fathers scream at little boys playing t-ball.

What do these things have to do with eternity? Before we can answer that, or think about that, we have to first wonder what an eternity is. Do you think that eternity is simply time extended to infinity? When Solomon wrote, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11), did he simply mean that man has the ability to think about time extended to infinity?

I think it could be the case that dreams are born from the eternity placed in our hearts. Eternity is not merely time extended into infinity. It is a place where death is no longer allowed to hunt us. When death is banished, and where youth is eternal, dreams can flourish and come true.

Solomon says that eternity is set in our hearts, yet in a way that we cannot find out what God has done and what he is going to do. The eternity we have in our hearts is put there to make us stretch out, to dream, to grasp what could have been, what should have been, and what might be. Our dreams and hopes are stirred by an eternal longing for something better: for ourselves, for our children, and for our friends.

The whisper of eternity blows through our dreams. We dream of being stronger, smarter, and more attractive. We want to be a hero. We want to slay the dragon. We want to be admired. We want this for our children. The love that we have for them is a desperate kind of love, and this too is born from eternity.

The naturalist may say that we are only evolved protozoa, but when love springs to life and bonds them to a child, they will fight and die for their dreams for their children. Is this mere chemical, evolutionary bonding? Or is it that innate whispering that only the parent of the child really hears, that whisper that affirms that this child is special, not simply because he is yours, but because he simply is. Every parent knows that his child is special, that his child is the best, this is not mere conceit: it is the gift of eternity, the gift of significance, the fragrance of love on the wind of eternity that promises more than we now see and hear.

Some day, when death is gone, we will have time to become what we should be. God has not withheld His plan from us because He is cruel; He has withheld it so we may dream dreams that only eternity can deliver (1 Corinthians 2:6-10).

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