Everything goes from order to disorder, according to old Newtonian Mechanics. However, quantum physics takes things in a different direction and suggests that everything is made of energy and it is never lost, but rather changes form. They’re discovering new insights all the time in the science world, and these newest thoughts will probably change again (In fact they already are). As a distant onlooker, I find these things fascinating, and I wonder if we’ll ever reach the point where science and faith actually meet amicably.
Most of us conduct our lives under the old assumption that things break down and diminish. Buildings don’t last, cars quit running, and all living things get old, sick, and die. We hate it. We fight hard to resist it. We try not to think about it. We pray for it not to happen. We cry and mourn when our loves ones succumb to it. But we believe it’s inevitable.
But there is another law at work in spiritual realms and perhaps physics, too, where all things break down, but then there is rebuilding or regeneration. We see it all the time in nature, where living things break down into elements that are used to form and nurture new life.
We see it in other ways, too. In moments of increased enlightenment, we note that our failures are not defeats, but defining moments that allow us to rebuild our lives into something greater. I see it when a person’s childhood faith is dissembled and makes way for deeper spiritual insight. We perceive of these transitional moments as catastrophic, but perhaps they are more like growth pains.
The end of physical life can be seen this way, too. We remind ourselves that life does not end, but changes forms when we step into eternity. It’s a difficult transition, but it’s not termination.
How many times did Jesus talk about this, especially in John:
“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24).
He was speaking of all kinds of transitions where changes feel like loss but are really gains.
I often think of how Jesus gave up a lot of himself when he left heaven to come to earth as a child. And yet when he went through the entire transition that led to death on a cross, he was brought to an even higher place and is bringing us with him. (Read Philippians 2:1-18 and get back to me).
Remembering this makes me less scared of impending losses and less sad about the ones that have already occurred. Perhaps it can help me enjoy more of the moments I have here, and I can make better use of them. Perhaps I can even be more generous in giving myself away.