Eternity is Terrifying

A few of these posts began as Facebook status updates. (Quick aside:we should never stop making fun of people who use Facebook. Even if we use it all of the time. Once it has become fully accepted as a part of our normal lives I fear a piece of our humanity will be lost forever. But I digress) What I should say is that I thought of something short and sweet that someone else might get a kick out of. And at first I intended it to exist as a status update. But, after some consideration I decided to expand on whatever it is I was thinking. Plus, whenever I try to write something thoughtful as a status update it is usually squashed by a sarcastic response. (Once again, keep it up people. If you let me get away with stuff like that who knows what repercussions it will have for humanity.)

Just recently I was going to write, “Eternity is the most terrifying concept imaginable”. I almost wrote it, even though I had just written that Inception was stuck in my head. I’m guilty of multiple postings over a short period of time. That’s the drawback of using status updates as a creative outlet. And that’s part of why I started this blog. If you’re going to express yourself, why not use your words in a way that couldn’t fit on Twitter?

Eternity is terrifying. As a child I recall thinking about this concept for the first time. I became fearful of the endlessness. And I was thinking of endlessness in Heaven! Greater than the greatest thing we can imagine. Greater than a million Chuck E Cheeses and Christmas mornings. But forever? Forever! Nate King came to this realization around the same time and we discussed it together. This helped somewhat, but ironically it was time that eased my anxiety.

Some time later (young teenager) I considered eternity in hell. Worse than the worst thing imaginable. Forever. You burn your hand on a hot stove and you instantly take it away. That sucks. But hold it there for 10 seconds. Hold it there for 10 years. Hold it there for 300 trillion years and it doesn’t scratch forever. Hell is awful, but it’s the forever part that gets you.

You can think of eternity another way. In this life we always have a sense that we can escape. Worst comes to worst we can die. Or for a less intense example, think of how often people hide from things. They hide from their own fears by putting up walls both physical and psychological. There are no walls in eternity. No escape from the truth. Whatever that truth may be.
There is no running from eternity. No denying it. If forever is your destiny, you cannot escape yourself.
How many people drink to escape themselves? How many use drugs or any other substance for a vacation from their own conscience?
Maybe the most terrifying aspect of eternity is yourself. You are trapped with you forever.
You should probably be someone you wouldn’t mind spending forever with.
There’s your job for the day. Become someone you wouldn’t mind being with forever.
But how do I do that?

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Posted on July 19, 2010, in Religion and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Deep stuff. I remember having that thought too— when we die we go on to exist FOREVER in heaven —and I didn't exactly get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. I was more blown away by the idea of FOREVER and it seemed, well, exhausting! I decided not to overthink it, because it was just too much to wrap my head around. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess!

  2. Don't get innocuous.

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