In our universe, most of our days are spent in tension over things that are happening more quickly than we can update our intel and navigate ourselves – as well as our enterprises or our resources – into a place that is both safe and leveraged (a tension that is almost certainly unattainable: security avoids the risk necessary for high returns; leverage creates more exposure in pursuit of gains, but lacks conservative safeguards). Our time-horizons have become short and brittle…
“Long-range thinking” is still relatively short. Imagining the next market correction – or, the next presidential election – puts us into months instead of moments, but there often remains the Long View that can be missed from myopia-on-overload.
As if there was not enough to stress the limits of human capacity, last week, Forbes released this report from prominent astrophysicist Ethan Siegel:
“The Universe is not the same today as it was yesterday. With each moment that goes by, a number of subtle but important changes occur, even if many of them are imperceptible on measurable, human timescales. The Universe is expanding, which means that the distances between the largest cosmic structures are increasing with time…
“A second ago, the Universe was slightly smaller; a second from now, the Universe will be slightly larger. But those subtle changes both build up over large, cosmic timescales, and affect more than just distances. As the Universe expands, the relative importance of radiation, matter, neutrinos, and dark energy all change. The temperature of the Universe changes. And what you’d see in the sky would change dramatically as well. All told, there are six different eras we can break the Universe into, and we’re already in the final one.” (Ethan Siegel: PhD, astrophysicist, author and science communicator; former professor at Columbia University).
If we were in the middle of the span of history, it would be one thing; we could be aware of the past, but confident of the future. We could imagine that things would continue to unfold in a predictable, systematic manner. That mindset has become disruptable by prophets of environmental or political doom, but it operates out of touch with the epochs of time and space.
When we’re talking “Big Picture,” who’s the best source of insight regarding what’s next: the observer of Creation? or, one who is the spokesman for the Creator?
This from Peter (a man who spent years with Jesus, and then represented him with the balance of his lifetime): “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (Peter né Simon, early-life entrepreneur fisherman, mentored by Jesus of Nazareth; later, high-impact leader in the Kingdom of the Son of God).
In the Christian subculture, there’s much debate about biblical prophecy – under the heading of “End Times” – and the conflict that it creates has made the topic unwelcome in social circles.
So, don’t think about “End Times;” let me draw your attention to the “End of Time” (there should be far less disharmony on that one). Siegel puts it poignantly: “… we’re already in the final one.” Peter backs that up, and offers us the best strategy in preparation for the finish: “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the Day of God and speed its coming…”
Great news: this is not “the beginning of the end;” it is, rather, “the end of the beginning!” There’s an astounding next chapter that Siegel hasn’t read!