When the Eternal Word became flesh his presence changed the meaning of time. He dwells among us and within us. St. Paul tells us, “In him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28).
In him all things were made with a trace of his own fullness and continually become the creation he ordained. God created each of us with a trace of his being, a seed of his vision for us. His perfect will for us is the life that he hid within our heart for us to discover and grow into as we grow out of our own limitations.
There is a Jewish tradition that God created all souls at the beginning of time. An angel took our soul and showed us what time in history we were to be born. He showed us our intended family, the blessings and sufferings of our specific life on earth. Then he asked us to choose if we wanted to be born, knowing all about our life to come. When we gave our fiat, our “yes” to the life God created us to live, the angel put his finger over our lips to seal the memory from our minds. The tradition asserts that’s why we have a slight indentation under our nose! Ever notice that when children try to remember something they put their finger in that indentation? It also explains some of our dreams, visions and déjà vu — a French term meaning, “already seen.” More than 70% of us have experienced this “overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all.”
If I take this Jewish tradition to heart — that is, that I knew and accepted my life from the beginning of time — it puts a different perspective on my free will as I waver between seeking God’s will and rebelling against it. If indeed I have chosen this life and its unique challenges, failures and triumphs, then my time here has always existed in eternity, whether I realize it or not. God’s great love for me and his respect for my free will eons before he created my body, gives me a sense of awe at his purpose for my life. He gives me an overwhelming desire to become all that I am meant to be in him, for apparently he intends for it all to end well!
This belief helps me listen to the illusive stirrings deep inside that hint of some other time and place where I truly belong. It helps me when I feel the presence of the Communion of Saints, affirming that eternity and this present moment exist at the same time. It helps me pay attention to those rare times when I know with absolute certainty that I am doing exactly what God created me to do, even for just a moment. I cherish those moments when I am aware that I live and move and exist in him — not just someday but right now. That’s when I can take a deep breath of gratitude knowing that his life within me now, has always been and will be forever because of his unending love for me.
(© 2012 Nancy H C Ward)