(Conversation w/ Ernie)
We’re a few weeks into the New Year and the three of us are back to work after the holidays and carpooling again.
We drew straws. I drew the short straw so, I’m driving first, then Ivy, and third is Ernie.
Leaving from my garage on Monday morning I decided to pick up Ivy first even though Ernie lives closer to me than Ivy.
“Good morning Ivy. Happy New Year.” Ivy slid into the back seat on the right side. I guess she did it out of habit because Ernie likes to sit in the passenger seat when he’s not the driver.
“Yes thanks,” she said. “Happy New Year to you, too.”
The traffic was still fairly light and it took me less than five minutes before I pulled up in front of Ernie’s place.
Ernie was waiting in a chair on his porch. He stood up when he spotted me, walked to my car, and climbed into the passenger seat.
We all exchanged greetings and I drove toward our work places downtown. Things were quiet and uneventful for maybe two minutes when Ernie said, “I’ve been thinking about seeing things with fresh eyes.”
I said, “What do you mean? Are you thinking about buying new glasses?”
“Yeah, something like that,” Ernie said. “Do this, visualize the Creator looking over everything created.”
“OK, where are you going with this?” I asked.
Ernie ignored me and said, “Now imagine 2000 some years ago God sent Jesus to the world.”
“The Christmas story!” Ivy piped in.
“Right,” Ernie answered. “2000 years ago seems like along time, doesn’t it?”
A little annoyed I said, “It is a long time Ernie!”
“Yes, but not to God.”
Ivy asked, “Why’s that? Can you give an example of what you mean?”
“Because God invented time,” Ernie explained. “2000 years isn’t a long time for God. 5000 years isn’t a long time for God. 10,000 years isn’t a long time for God. Why? Because God exists inside and outside of time. No matter how big the number, it doesn’t matter God isn’t affected by a number in time.”
Annoyed I said, “Ernie everyone knows that.”
Ernie kept on talking. “What’s more, God is able to do a lot with a little amount of time or a big amount of time. For instance God said in Genesis ‘Let there be … ‘ and it happened instantly.”
“Yeah that’s what it says. Can you give another example of what you mean?” asked Ivy.
“Absolutely. The Apostle Paul understood this concept of time. In 1 Corinthians 15:52 he wrote, ‘It will happen suddenly, quicker than the blink of an eye. At the sound of the last trumpet, the dead will be raised. We will all be changed so that we will never die again.’
We were almost downtown. I asked, “Why is this important?”
Ernie shifted his body to the left so he could look at both Ivy and me and said, “We need to see time with fresh eyes.”
Ivy answered, “OK, so …”
“To me this means seeing things differently.”
“What things?” I asked as I pulled into the parking garage.
“Everything. Marriage. Church. Friends. Enemies. Life. Death. This happens as I view things with fresh eyes. Everything changes when we see things with fresh eyes.”
“Yes,” Ivy said. “I I think you might be right.”
Ernie finished his thought with “The challenge is to view our circumstances and world with fresh eyes.”
I backed into a parking space. We opened the car doors, slid out of our seats, and, in silence, walked toward our work places.
As I walked, I was thinking, God is everywhere present. There is no where I can get to that God isn’t there. What time it is doesn’t matter. God is alive in every moment.