Conceiving the Inconceivable

There is a story of twins talking to each other in the womb which is going about the internet in various forms.  Here is my take on it.

The babies are not far from birth and well developed but still completely ignorant of what is to come.  They cannot conceive of what they are about to experience since they have absolutely nothing in their current existence that they can relate to it.  So that is why I have called this blog “Conceiving the Inconceivable” and also because I love puns and playing with words.

The first problem you experience when you start to try and write this is that the twins don’t have words.  They are immersed in water so they cannot speak.  We know that babies in the womb can hear and respond to sounds and that the normal existence for a baby in the womb is to be on their own.  Even this is analogous to our existence now in comparison to what we will be.  Now we are profoundly disconnected from one another because of time and space.  In the next life I believe there is no time nor space in the way we understand those terms and so perfect intimacy and knowledge of one another and God is the inevitable result.

____________________

“So you still think there is some existence beyond this?”  Thomas was having his daily tete-a-tete with John.

“Undoubtedly” John replied. “Don’t you hear all those sounds and Mom’s singing?”

“Nah, that is just the vibrations of this watery world we live in.  You move around and I move around and we disturb the waters and they make noises.”

“Beautiful, coherent noises which can only point to someone greater than us.” John was in his usual philosophic mode.

“No, they happen by chance.  It is like everything else in here, it all started with us being nothing and then the fluids and all the chemicals interacted together and here we are.  You know that we evolved out of creatures which were smaller and less intelligent than we are.”  Thomas had an answer to everything and usually answers that made as little out of any idea of a Mom and Dad as he could.  “We grow up in here until we can no longer fit and then, Boom!, it all explodes and our pitiful existence comes to an end in a terrible mess.”

“I don’t believe all that dystopian future nonsense you seem to indulge in all the time.” John replied.  “For me it is obvious we are here because our Mom and Dad wanted us to be here.  They have wonderful plans for our lives after we are delivered.  Even in here I can hear their loving words and concern for us.  I have felt them on the walls of our barriers, telling me not to fear.  In Mom, we live and move and have our being.  She is love and tells me about love.”

“You can’t prove any of this,” John retorted.  “It sounds great but you know that we are going to die.  You have said yourself that you believe that after delivery (as you call it) we will no longer have water to breathe in.  So what then?  All your stories are just optimistic fairy tales designed by your clever mind just to make this cramped existence more bearable.”

_________________

You can see where I am going with this.  It seems to me obvious that a thoughtful meditation on our existence before delivery can be very useful.  It is a way of helping to explain the enormous gulf in our understanding between where we are now – in time and space – and where we will be after we die (or after we are raptured) in eternity.

Eternity is not lots more time and infinite space.  Eternity is a different state of things altogether, as expansive and as inconceivable to us now as being able to breathe air, talk and walk is to babies in a womb.

This is just one of many possible conversations that our two hypothetical twins can have.  I hope to create a few more conversations in future blogs.

Be Quiet!

Proverbs is one of the Bible’s Wisdom books along with Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs.  One of its major themes is the consequences of actions and words.  According to the bible, discipline in what we speak, how we manage what goes into our bodies and what we do with our time all matter if we want to lead a godly life.  It is the root meaning of what it means to be a disciple.

One of the great disciplines of the Christian is stillness.  “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) is easier said than done for most of us.  It is essential though if we are to hear God.  If we don’t hear the Holy Spirit within us we cannot pray.

Inner stillness can be disturbed by many things.  What we eat can disturb our bowels  making us uncomfortable and unable to stay still.  What we have said to someone can disturb us, we may be aware that we have hurt someone with our words.  Proverbs is full of admonishments to restrain our lips (e.g. Prov. 21:23) so that our souls and lives can be preserved.

Inner turmoil is exposed as soon as we try to be still.  For that reason many people avoid trying to be still as much as possible.  Some will work all day (usually older people), others will play video games or continuously interact with their smartphones (usually younger people).  Continuously blaring music of all sorts is a very common way of avoiding being still for many of us.  Constantly having the TV on or the radio when travelling is another way of avoiding inner turmoil.

Inner turmoil can keep us awake at night.  Our aching bellies, unfulfilled desires, our troubled conscience, worries and fears are unavoidable at night when everything is quiet and still.

God’s answer to inner turmoil is for us to bring this bag of wind and tossing to His word and to be still before it.  That is why there is so much right emphasis in Christian circles on having a disciplined daily quiet time with God – usually before we do anything else in a day.  The word of God is living and active, it will cast a light over all that is going on within you and separate out what is of God and what isn’t (Hebrews 4:12).  As we are still we can pray and the Holy Spirit will teach you about how to live (John 14:26).

Be still.  Jesus commanded the wind and waves.  He can do that for you also.