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about time…

I imagine that fans of the Doctor are fans of most ‘time travel’ fiction and perhaps even of the non-fiction ‘physics’ of time (if ‘physics’ is the right word; I am no scientist).

As a Christian who is ‘waiting’ in time (but not ‘treading’ time, rather ‘redeeming’ it) for Christ to return, I wonder if that is not at least part of my fascination with the Doctor’s ‘time-wimey’ stuff. I mean besides the sheer fun of it.

Scripture, especially the ‘apocalyptic’ portion is riddled (I use the word intentionally) with hints at time and signs of times. I am so glad that Jesus, when he was speaking about the end of time (well of ‘heaven and earth’ at least) thought to add, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”Matt 24:36

This passage is taken from ‘Reflections on the Psalms’ by C.S.Lewis. To tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure what he means but there are parts of this that I aim to keep in mind whenever I watch the Doctor attempting to ‘ride’ time.

The bold print is mine…

“When the poet of Psalm 84 said (verse 10) “For one day in thy courts is better than a thousand”, he doubtless meant that one day there was better than a thousand elsewhere. I find it impossible to exclude while I read this the thought which, so far as I know, the Old Testament never quite reaches. It is there in the New, beautifully introduced not by laying a new weight on old words but more simply by adding to them.

In Psalm90:4 it had been said that a thousand years were to God like a single yesterday; in 2 Peter 3:8 – not the first place in the world where one would have looked for so metaphysical a theology – we read not only that a thousand years are as one day but also that “one day is as a thousand years”.

The Psalmist only meant, I think, that God was everlasting, that His life was infinite in time. But the epistle takes us out of the time-series altogether. As nothing outlasts God, so nothing slips away from Him into a past. The later conception (later in Christian thought-Plato had reached it) of the timeless as an eternal present has been achieved.

Ever afterwards, for some of us, the “one day” in God’s courts which is better than a thousand, must carry a double meaning. The Eternal may meet us in what is, by our present measurements, a day, or (more likely) a minute or a second; but we have touched what is not in any way commensurable with lengths of time, whether long or short.

Hence our hope, finally to emerge, if not altogether from time (that might not suit our humanity) at any rate from the tyranny, the unilinear poverty, of time, to ride it not to be ridden by it, and so to cure that always aching wound (“the wound man was born for”) which mere succession and mutability inflict on us, almost equally when we are happy and when we are unhappy.

For we are so little reconciled to time that we are even astonished at it. “How he’s grown!” we exclaim, “How time flies!” as though the universal form of our experience were again and again a novelty. It is as strange as if a fish were repeatedly surprised at the wetness of water. And that would be strange indeed; unless of course the fish were destined to become, one day, a land animal.”

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