This book is dedicated, was dedicated, and always will have been dedicated to my faithful companion, and dearly departed Labrador, Archer.
Here lies Archer, in my heart.
He was a handsome boy who died way too soon. He was my children’s first dog, and my own since I became what I would call an adult. Today I held him in my arms and watched as he passed peacefully into wherever we go when we pass. He fulfilled his destiny, according to God’s plan. I wonder sometimes if God still hangs around here, checks up on us like we hope he does, or if he’s busy in another galaxy just now.
I have been questioning, lately, the meaning of it all: Life, time, God, whatever else. How do we have free will and at the same time have a creator who is good and just and omniscient, omnipresent and sovereign, who has a plan, and from whose plan we may never deviate? Can both be true? Are they mutually exclusive?
Has all that will ever happen already happened? Some physicists believe in a concept of time that is non-linear. Instead of events happening in a sequence, they are all laid out exactly as they are on a sort of blanket (space-time fabric). Each stitch of the blanket is an event, and the entire blanket is always woven, has always been woven, and will always have been woven.
We on earth, the living at least, only can see the one stitch at a time, and we see it as happening now, with memories of the past and glimpses, maybe, of the future. Our memories are distorted some, but they are our only way of visiting a stitch that we perceive we have already left, even though theoretically those stitches, or moments in time, are still there, exactly as they were when we perceived being there.
Sometimes we get déjà vu… I wondered about this in the context of this time theory and imagined riding a boat on the ocean of the time blanket, and sometimes we are cresting the peak of a wrinkle in the blanket, and in this moment we can see other peaks ahead of us… maybe when we see the peaks behind us that is the other part of déjà vu, or simply memory.
Perhaps, then, God is standing over this ocean with his own view, the view of all time … the view of all the stitches at once. He understands how the stitches are woven together across many different eons, decades, and days. You and me, my poor dog, Archer, we have the illusion of free will, but the blanket is already woven. We have no choice but to follow the stitches to the part of the blanket where we cease to be living.
No matter what part of the blanket you are looking at right now, no matter who you are, there is a part of the blanket, a stitch in time, where Archer stopped being Archer, in the sense that I knew him. He died, which is a term only the living can understand, and only the living that see time as the linear, one after another progression with no control.
On that part of the blanket, which I perceive as November 16th, 2013 at 10:50 AM Pacific, my dog ceased living. Every choice he made, limited as they were, was leading him, had led him, and always would have led him to the same stitch of the blanket where he ceased to live. This was, incidentally, the identical stitch in time, where I prayed over him with the words that follow, even though I knew he was only dead in this moment, and not dead in so many others.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because I am already dead in one moment of time. I am traveling to that moment now. I don’t know how I am going to get there, but I will see you when I arrive. I chose to believe that God does know the path across the blanket, and he can see me and Archer together in a better, softer spot on the blanket. I chose to believe this.
I will love you and miss you in all the moments which follow this one along my path, and I will visit moments behind me, in which you are happy and healthy, often.
Rest peacefully, young boy.
I love you,