God, Time, and 2 x 3 x 11

It’s my birthday, my 2 x 3 x 11 birthday! June 1 has always been a special day to me. It symbolizes the gifts of life, time, opportunity, and responsibility. Of all the days of the year, it’s the time when I reflect most on my life, what I owe, what I have accomplished, where I have failed, and what I should do with the time remaining. I remember that I owe more than I can repay, have accomplished less than I could have, and have failed more often than I wish to recall. And I still wonder what I should do with my life.

We don’t exist in time. Time is the way we exist. To ask, “What should I do with my time?” is the same as asking, “What should I do with my existence, with myself?” How can I know when I am wasting it? Should I continue to do what I have been doing or should I make a change? Is it best to act boldly or cautiously?

How can we enjoy peace while reflecting honestly on our lives? Such small successes! Such immense failures! A burdened present borders an uncertain future! Come to think of it, how can we achieve a perspective from which to assess our lives? We either exaggerate our strengths and minimize our weaknesses or inflate our failures and shrink our successes. And can I really know what I should do with my time until the moment arrives when I must act?

I find no comfort, no joy, and no hope other than in this thought: God gives me life, time, opportunity, and responsibility. God’s eternity spans and encompasses my time from beginning to end. God knows why he gave me time; for my life was his project long before it was mine. My project will unfold as a mixture of success and failure. I stumble into the future not knowing where I am going or what to do when I arrive. But God’s project will not fail. God works through our “failures” as efficiently as through our “successes,” and for God, our staggering steps make a straight line to glory.

So, on this 2 x 3 x 11 birthday, I will not allow the weight of past failures, or the pride of past successes, or the darkness of a future unknown keep me from thanking God for his gifts of life and time, or placing my life at his disposal, or looking ahead to glory. And I pray that this day will find you in the same frame of mind.

4 thoughts on “God, Time, and 2 x 3 x 11

  1. nokareon

    I’ve been told that people in earlier stages of life relate to God in fundamentally different ways than people in later stages of life. Is there any truth to this, or is it more of an effect of being a new believer vs. being a veteran Christ-Follower? I imagine, for example, that a reflection of the sort you provide here looks very different at 2 x 11 than it does at 2 x 3 x 11.


  2. ifaqtheology Post author

    Many things seem different, but I find the most striking thing is the constancy of the divine identity in my experience of God’s presence. From a human point of view I can’t help feel that I have a less open-ended future, but in reality every future is always a matter of divine grace whether you are young or old. I’ve gone through many of life’s normal passages but there are more to come. I know more about theology, philosophy, science and history. But when I pray to God, I feel that I have entered a timeless or eternal sphere and there I meet the One who does not change, the One who always transcends every thought and image I have of him. God is the same, and when I think of him it always feels like I’ve come home.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s