“So let me get this straight; you’re only going to be here this week and never coming back? Like, I’m probably never going to see you again until we get to heaven?!” said the kind teenage girl. “Pretty much” I smiled gently in reply. I was visiting a church while volunteering with an out-of-state ministry when I had this conversation, very grateful for a new friend, even though I was just a traveler. That experience and several others over the past few years have really got me thinking about how temporary and fleeting our lives and our world really are. It‘s easy to just let ourselves get comfortable with certain patterns or routines and assume that things will always work the same way they do now, but is that really a Biblical idea? Or is it applying uniformitarianism (the idea that the present is key to the past and future) to our personal lives?
The ideas and theories that scientists pursue – evolution, age of the earth, genetics, etc. – are not limited to staying within the realm of science. Much as we would like to separate our lives into distinctly separate divisions like work, school, religion, and family, we are not robots that can simply switch modes. The ideas we come away with from different subjects tend to mix together in our brains to create our worldview and influence how we respond to ideas in other areas. If we choose to accept the unbiblical idea of uniformitarianism in science, we might also find it subtly hidden in the way we think about the future in our personal lives. The Bible clearly tells of the supernatural creation of our universe, one-time catastrophic global flood, and a coming fiery judgment and new creation of earth, all unlike anything we’ve seen today.
Scientists can spend a lifetime trying to explore and explain the way things work in God’s incredible creation. But, their theories will be adjusted (or sometimes completely abandoned) as new generations add to and correct the information their predecessors gathered. Whether or not we realize it, the world of science is constantly changing, just as our own lives change and our understanding is challenged by ideas. While we might find some nice routines for a while, it’s important that we don’t let those routines or goals be what we depend on: our dependence needs to be on God and the Truth in His Holy Word.
I have committed my life to Christ – that means that my time in this world is temporary and I’m a traveler, just like I was in the example I gave at the beginning. People, places, opportunities, traditions, and ideas will come and go, but my God and His Word will be with me forever – no matter what.
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.” ~ Isaiah 40:8
“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him and His righteousness unto children’s children” ~ Psalm 103:15-17
This is a beautiful old hymn that goes along with this concept: