ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, August 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

Time condensed, stretched, revisited

That trip felt like a cautionary tale: like a chance to look back to a phase like one day I’ll look back to the whole of my life.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 11 AUGUST 2018 18:00 h GMT+1
Vancouver. / Wikimedia Commons.

Some time ago I’ve had a near-death experience. Almost. Kind of. What happened is that I paid a visit to Vancouver, a city Sarah and I have lived in for 3 years, but which we had not visited for almost 5 years.



It was an endearing, surreal experience, which made me think about time, death, and life.



I first thought about the nature of time on the way there. The plane left Amsterdam at 1:30 pm and arrived in Vancouver at 2:30 pm: one hour later even though we flew for 10 hours.



The sun shone brightly the whole way through, as we flew almost at the Earth’s speed. It was a long, bizarre day, my body apparently suspending the biological rhythm and need for sleep and food until it figured out what was taking place.



I got a lot done on that plane, I’ll tell you, but I’m glad our usual days have 24 hours. 27 hours would be nice too–long lunch break (or two lunches!), an extra hour to catch up with the final duties that always seem to get left to the next day, some reading time later–but 24 are just fine, actually.



I got emotional at the airport, arriving back to a place Sarah and I once looked so fondly toward, counting the months to the day we would arrive at as our first home as a married couple.



I remembered the “Welcome home” sign that meant so much to us when we first moved there, the sights and hopes for what would happen next.



 





Which brought to this trip some curious thoughts about death. It felt like revisiting a former life, like looking back to the sum of our memories and experiences, at least those that took place in that specific phase.



How was our life here? What has shaped us most? What have we left behind? What stands the test of time? I could visit dear friends, and feel the absence of friends who have moved on to other places too.



I could see the teenagers I then pastored now all grow-up and with firm voices. I could touch the places where I once conceived dreams and a vision for the future, to plant a church in Rome, and now look back to that implemented vision.



That trip felt like a cautionary tale: like a chance to look back to a phase like one day I’ll look back to the whole of my life. And I am so glad we’ve lived well, at least those 3 years.



On Wednesday I went to speak to the group of seniors I sometimes spoke to in Vancouver. The group was smaller this time – some have passed away, others are too frail to leave their homes.



One of them, Mary, could not come, but made an effort to come on Sunday to give me a special hug. After the hug, she looked at me with eyes shining with grandmotherly love and said, “I’m 91 now. I may not be here the next time you come back. But I’ll see you in heaven.”



You bet, Mary. If not here, I’ll see you there. And I hope I’ll live well in the meantime. I hope to have as much life as you.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Time condensed, stretched, revisited
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How has Christianity influenced the modern world? How has Christianity influenced the modern world?

Paul Copan, Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Palm Beach Atlantic University, explains how many key features of Western civilization, are the legacy of the biblical faith being lived out by believers in society.

 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.