Any time I write a paper, I flip through some of my favorite books to get good quotes so it looks like I have cool sources. I'm now writing a paper for Astronomy, so I figured it was time to pull out the good ol' Mere Christianity. I must admit I'm a poser Christian. I've owned this book forever, and alas, I've never read the whole thing. But since I was writing about space and the universe and all that, I figured it was a good time as ever to read the chapter titled "Time and Beyond Time."
Of course this is one of those times where I'm least expecting it and God shows up and says "learn THIS about me!" and I learn a little bit more about my creator.
I guess since the majority of people who read this are Christians, you've probably already read this book/chapter and don't need me to talk about it because of course you already know. But it's one of those situations where I have to process it, and we all know I can't process anything without writing it down.
Anyway, the passage I'm talking about is this:
"God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world."
I think if maybe I had put two and two together, I could've figured it out myself, however never as eloquently as that. But I knew these things about God: he's out of time and space, and He died for me individually.
I think I always have viewed God like I view a popular person. Like the good popular person. The one that knows everyone's names, even the nerds and unlikeables of the school. The one who is personally invested in everyone's lives, and everyone is willing to tell this person everything. Everyone wants to be their best friend. I viewed God as a large-scale popular person. He knows everyone's names and personal stories, he listens to everyone when they talk and I kinda waved off the fact that 6 billion people were his concern at every moment. He's God, He can do what He wants.
So I think I also always assumed that when Jesus died on the cross he ran through his mind everyone's name that will ever exist and what sins they committed and took them on himself. Which, to some extent is what He did, but I was thinking along the popular kid lines like if this kid was having a party, he'd quickly go through everyone's name and put it on the list. We all mattered, but it wasn't that personal.
But this author/not constrained by time illustration just blew that out of the water. "He does not have to deal with us in the mass." So I got to thinking. I'm an author. What if I wrote a book about someone? I was their creator, so I automatically knew everything about them. What if I invested my whole life into this one book and it took me a lifetime? It reminds me of Stranger Than Fiction. This author is writing about someone's life and when she realizes that it's a real person, she is so invested in him because she actually "knows" him, she can't kill him like she had planned. Also, she doesn't kill him because the man knows he's going to die, and accepts it, but ends up alive. What if the author had to die so that her character would live?
So, since God is out of time and space, and to really stretch this metaphor for all it's worth, I imagine him picking up a blank book and completely investing a lifetime or more to get to really know me by creating me and being my author. Just me and Him. To me, that makes Jesus dying for me extremely more personal. When Jesus died, He was spending that lifetime with me and reading all my flaws in the book and knowing that to save me, he would have to die. What a personal God we have.