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Why does time pass faster as you get older?

There is no substitute for the passage of time. Time passes. Nothing you do will prevent it nor facilitate it. Get used to it. Time for you will happen as long as you live. One thing you will learn if you haven’t already, is that the older you get, the faster time passes. This is a great mystery.

Several years ago I was reacquainted with Peter Robinson, younger brother of my childhood friend Scot. I’d known Peter as a teenager and met up with him again at the funeral of his mother Sue. We had seen each other only a couple of times over the previous 20 or more years and we talked about how quickly it seemed that so many years had passed. Decades passed as if they were years.

Peter asked if I knew why time passed much faster now than it seemed to pass when we were younger. That was a phenomenon I had often pondered. Surprised that he offered an explanation, I eagerly sought his response.

Ironically, I was now seeking the wisdom of the younger Peter who had always looked up to me and his big brother as wise elders.

Peter asked “How long does it take for Christmas to come when you’re five years old”. I didn’t even have to think of my answer. “Forever!” I instantly replied. Kids go through agony awaiting Christmas day. Remember the delight of opening each day of the advent calendar in anticipation of the glorious morning when you would open Santa’s gifts?

Peter smiled wisely, satisfied at my predictable answer. I was stunned when he said “the passage of time has to do with percentages.” I began to understand.  At 5 years of age, 20% of my entire life would pass before Christmas arrived.  He went on to explain that at 100 years of age, Christmas occurs after the passage of merely 1% of one’s life.

I was dumfounded at his wisdom.  Though constant, time is measured from one’s beginning to the present. Wow! Thank you Peter Robinson!

Albert Einstein determined that, at the speed of light, time stands still. This can be easily demonstrated. For purpose of illustration I shall use an imaginary clock located on a distant planet. This planet is located at a distance from the earth that when traveling at the speed of light, requires 60 minutes to reach earth. Therefore, the image of the clock arrives at earth exactly one hour after leaving the clock face. On earth, one observes the hands of the clock pointing to 12:00. Because the image we see from earth is one hour old, the time on the distant planet is actually 1:00.

You with me so far?

For the purpose of my example, imagine the images of the clock traveling to earth as a succession of frames in one minute increments. Each one minute “frame” holds one still image of the clock face. With each minute that passes, an image of the clock face leaves the planet traveling at the speed of light.

Now imagine that you are able to travel along side the image of the clock reading 12:00 as it makes its one hour journey to earth. Note that as you accompany that image you are traveling at the speed of light and the image does not change. The hands do not move. Immediately following you is the image of 12:01, 02, 03, etc. The image in front of you is 11:59, 58, 57, etc.

Were you standing still, a parade of minutes would pass by. Still with me? Now suppose it possible for you to increase the speed of your travel beyond the speed of light. You would move ahead of the frames into the future. Your speed, relative to the speed of light determines your place in time. Time travel!

The bible tells us that God is light and also that “one day with God is like one thousand years with man and that one thousand years with God is like one day with man”. After all, God is eternal and man is finite. Man has a beginning and an end. God always was and always will be. Therefore, Himself being light, God lives in the eternal present.

The passage of time on earth is required to confine three dimensional life to a known beginning and a determined end.  There will come a day when this world will pass away and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth.  In that world there will be no more darkness because as John wrote in his revelation referring to Jesus Christ, “the Lamb shall be the light thereof”.


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