Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, a former president of Morehouse College (now University), where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., received his undergraduate degree, who delivered the eulogy during King's funeral service, periodically quoted this anonymous poem during student assemblies:
I have only just a minute,
Sixty seconds in it,
Forced upon me, can't refuse it;
Didn't seek it, didn't choose it,
But I know that I must use it,
I will suffer if I lose it,
Give account if I abuse it;
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.
This poem speaks appropriately and definitively to the concept "eternal here-now." "Here," relates to where or place and "now" relates to time or present. In a certain way, eternity is here, where you are at present. And as the poem says, "a minute," a moment that a person can never get away from as long as he is alive.
This sign posted over the entrance of a country store helps to illustrate this point. The sign read: "Cash today, credit tomorrow." After observing the sign a customer decided to return to the store tomorrow. The next day when he returned to the store the sign was still there. When he asked for credit the proprietor instructed him to read the sign over the entrance door. For this prospective customer tomorrow never came.
Today is every day. "Be Here Now," is a book written by Ram Dass. He has been an icon for more than a generation for many spiritual seekers. Across the years, I attended three of his lectures that contributed to me accepting the here and now as a way of being. For many years I have heard the statement "Tomorrow is not promised." It is equally true or true r that, "There is no tomorrow, only today." The challenge, in a world where people work night and day to make you somebody else, is to be yourself now, do it now, have it now.
Eternal there-then is a place and a time. "There" is a state, condition or space, or all the above. It may be, outer space; for sure inner space or soul space. There has been called Heaven, Hell, and a new Earth. "Then" is not now, but it preceded now just as it will follow now. Then is for all or is all eternity. It is immortality, timelessness and changelessness. These words of the Apostle Paul serve to heighten our imagination:
No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for
those who love Him
(1st Cor. 2:9)
"Eternal here-now and eternal there-then" are two sides of the same coin. To have one is to have the other. To have life is to have them both. But each person chooses the natures of his "here-now and there-then." Ultimately, the "here-now and there-then" are about eternity. The leading question is: "What does your life ultimately amount to?:
Copyright 2011 by Uriah J. Fields
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