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Sacred Deep-Time Eyes, Both Directions
For most people, their first look at life from an evolutionary worldview comes with the truly awesome realization that we have been on this epic journey together through deep time for billions of years. For the first time we can clearly see that we have been evolving as a Universe since before there was even the Sun-Earth relationship that we humans now measure time by.
And even more awesome (and by awesome I don't mean the modern Southern California valley girl-come-surfer turn of phrase but rather the jaw-dropping, heart-stopping kind of awe we feel when see a natural wonder like Hubble's deep space photos or the man-made terror of two towers falling in front of our eyes here on Earth), an evolutionary worldview is about much, much more than our shared past and an anthropocentric resistance to the reality that we are reated to everything and, indeed, share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees and bonobos. The most awesome realization comes when we turn over the sands of time and realize that we are going to be on this evolutionary journey together for billions of years yet to come.
For some, this means finding instant freedom from the apocalyptic thinking that has paralyzed our planetary creativity. It gives the future back to a generation of believers who have been waiting on the world to end and hoping against hope that someone or something supernatural was coming to save us. For others it opens a new window on the world with a view of the future so inspiring that we feel a calling of cosmic proportions to consciously join hands with the very forces the forged us from stardust to humanity.
As a evolutionary Christian, I now understand Jesus' parable about ascending to "the right hand of God" from this perspective. How better to shape our future than become Reality's "right-hand man." By embracing evolution as the emergent life force that brought us into being, we see the possibility of new powers once thought miraculous, supernatural, or perhaps even impossible by our ancestors.
To deny deep-time in either direction is to deny the Reality of God, a reality that regardless of religion points to a shared past and future where faith, grace, hope, and love take on meanings so rich and so real that they have the power to unite us in a new common cause, to evolve together as one.
"I and the Father are one," taught Jesus. This is a reason I see him as one of the original evolutionaries. It is why I stand in jaw-dropping awe of the amazing grace that had guided us safely through unfathomable epochs of deep time to the present moment, and stay filled with realistic hope for the future. It is why I see great challenges like climate change among others as divine evolutionary drivers that are calling us to live in deep integrity with God and get right with Reality on every level, from the personal to the planetary.
We stand at of cosmic crossroads. I see Reality holding out its evolutionary hand saying, "Here, come with me. Let's walk together now like never before and create Heaven on Earth. Let's see that not only are we made in God's image from a mythic point of view, but that the Creator and created are and always have been one, and that we are all waking up to that fact for the very first time.
Thank God for evolution!