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Space and Time

As Spirit, God is not constrained by space or time as we are. He is simply wherever He wants to be, whenever He wants to be there. For God, it's beautifully simple. On the other hand, we humans, and all other physical things, are affected by time. It normally only works for us at one speed, and in one direction (forward, one day at a time), which means that we have to wait for things in the future, and that we lose actual physical contact with the events of the past. We are also affected by space. If we want to be somewhere else, we have to physically travel there, and once we get there we are no longer where we were before. Things are more complicated for us than for God.

Space and Time

Orion We think of light as being instantaneous - turn on a light switch and you instantly have light. But even light takes time to travel from place to place, particularly the incredibly vast distances of space. Astronomers must deal with this reality every day of their working lives.

Although light travels incredibly fast (300,000 kilometers per second / 186,000 miles per second), the light that is continuously radiating from stars takes measurable times to travel the incomprehensible distances of outer space - often, vast amounts of time. Like water from a fire hose, the flow is continuous, but any given drop of water in the stream takes time to fly from the end of the hose (i.e. the star) to the fire (i.e. your eyes). Astronomers measure distances to stars not by kilometers or miles, but by "light years" - the distance light travels in one year.

Any star that you see tonight is actually just how that star looked way back when that particular light image left the star many years ago (the same applies to the star that we see during the day - starting at 93 million miles away, light from the sun takes about 8 minutes to travel to earth i.e. at any given moment, the sun appears as it actually looked about 8 minutes ago). An interesting example is "Mintaka", one of the three-in-a-row stars in Orion's belt (the constellation Orion, mentioned in Job 9:9, 38:31, and Amos 5:8 is visible from both the northern and southern hemispheres). Astronomers have calculated Mintaka's distance to be about 2,000 light years. That is, the light from Mintaka that strikes your eyes tonight left that star about 2,000 years ago - when Jesus Christ walked the earth.

Your eyes are like little time machines - when you look out into space, you are also looking back into time.

Fact Finder: Does God experience time the same as we do?
2 Peter 3:8

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