I have never tried to stand in the way of a train at full speed. The fact that you are reading this suggest that neither have you. Time, like a train, is often experienced as an unstoppable and unyielding movement. You either flow with it or you are crushed by it, but never does it yield its momentum to anyone.
In Greek mythology the god Chronos personified this kind of time. Chronos was the brother of Thanatos – a god of death. And what a well suited relationship between that which is temporal and that which passes away.
The way we experience time at sunset is therefore a good way to describe this kind of chronological time. Its a time that signifies the end; time that swallows everything in its way. It is the passing away of the day, the light. This experience of time leaves us trapped in an inescapable cycle in which we grow ever more familiar and ever more bored with what this kind of time has to offer. Chronos moves ever slower and inevitably towards death.
But there is another kind of time.
It is time the way we experience it at sunrise. It is new, fresh and filled with opportunity. Unlike the boring cycles of Chronos, it represents the unkown, the unexpected, possibilities without precedence.
In Greek mythology the god Kairos personified this experience of time. And Kairos was the brother of Zoe – the goddess of life.
So when Jesus says in John 17:3 “this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” the word he uses for life is the Greek word zoe.
Eternal life therefore has much more to do with the quality of life, the joyful expectation and the grasping of opportunity, than with some endless duration of chronological time.
This experience of time is not one of boring predictability, but one of infinite possibility which has to be grasped and made reality. It is the kind of time in which the God-for-whom-nothing-is-impossible dwells. It is in participating with this God in realizing those possibilities, that we partake of eternal life. Eternal life is a life eternally present to God, for in this life, God realized possibilities that were not realized anywhere else.
Eternity is present in this moment. The God of possibility beckons: “You can know Me now. And knowing Me, is knowing the excitement of all I can possibly be through you.”
…the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18