… nowhere to go …
… and nothing to do …
… and no time to go or do it in.
I thought about what happened before this opening line to a very famous book.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth …”
Before “In the beginning,” no heaven, no earth. No place at all.
Before “In the beginning,” only Father, Son, and Spirit existed. No one and nothing else.
Before “In the beginning,” time had no meaning, nothing like day-night cycles or days divided up into hours, hours into minutes, minutes into seconds.
So what did Father, Son, and Spirit do?
They found pleasure in one another’s company.
They basked in silence.
I’m intrigued by the simple fact that, before “In the beginning,” God had nowhere to go and nothing to do. And He had uninterrupted pleasure and joy under those conditions.
I set the timer for 7 minutes, laid on the floor, and imagined.
What I imagined before “In the beginning:”
The first thing that appeared in my mind was a chair—a simple white chair—which is more than before “In the beginning.” I flushed that thought.
Then came …
Three glowing forms, light blazing everywhere. The forms were not shapeless yet they had no distinct features. They moved like three dancing flames.
I heard conversation but nothing with clarity. Ideas, designs, and concepts floated around in my mind. Again nothing specific.
I did imagine a hand, palm up, holding a table then a giraffe then something else, as if one Person was illustrating creative ideas to the other Two. “What do You think about this?”
Delight. Warmth. No sense of hurry.
A few takeaways from this exercise:
1) Healthy community brings pleasure. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit communed with one another before Creation. They had nowhere to go and nothing else to do. And it was enough.
2) Healthy community encourages the exchange of ideas. I can imagine the synergy of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit deepening creative thoughts as they talked back and forth. I cannot imagine any one of them quashing the others’ enthusiasm.
3) Healthy community creates. The Three in One took conversation about ideas and concepts and made them a reality. That’s why we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
4) Healthy community continues. Even after “In the beginning,” Father, Son, and Holy Spirit continued (and continue) to commune with one another. Jesus, while on earth, said, “… the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19 NIV).
How do these truths affect me and my relationships? I’ll be honest. I have a number of places to go and things to do I’d rather go and do by myself. I don’t especially want to involve community. Some things like mowing the lawn can only involve one (although I wish it didn’t … sigh).
Yet I can’t ignore what God, the Three in One, did before “In the beginning.”
I’m curious. What do you imagine about God before “In the beginning”? Go ahead. Set a timer. And see what you come up with.
Find “Inspiration” at A Minute With Maxwell
Read about building community around a campfire, “Weekend Memories–Making Memories,” at Struggle to Victory
Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes
Two men. Two eternal destinies.
One common hope.
What people are saying:
My friend T. Neal Tarver pulls from his pastor’s heart in crafting this intriguing story. A poignant and compelling portrayal of heaven and hell, with a powerful look at redemption from the perspective of both the lost…and the saved. Well done!–Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author of You Don’t Know Me.
“Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes” was a compelling read for me. The vivid descriptions challenged and ignited my imagination.–Ron Fruit, GM, WRCO Radio
A very intriguing book that puts a different spin on Heaven and Hell. It is not just fluffy clouds and a fiery lake. T. Neal Tarver has created a story that you won’t want to put down until the very end.–G. Worthington, College Student
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We are just starting a series in our adult Sunday school class focusing on Christian Community. Your thoughts here will fit nicely into our teaching. We chose the topic because we feel like people are being very limited with how they interact in a Christian community, and that is limiting the church body.
I’d be interested to hear about your conversations in class. Keep us updated.
Will do. Reminders are welcome… and encouraged.