“To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.” ~ William Blake (Auguries of Innocence)
As a finite creature, I struggle to imagine the concept of infinity. The mere word conjures up images for me like Buzz Lightyear leaping off a child’s dresser in the movie Toy Story and proclaiming, “To infinity and beyond!” Or I envision the symbol for infinity used in mathematical studies. Or even an image of the luxury automobile named Infiniti comes to mind.
But try to picture infinity. Really picture it. I can’t. Because how do you depict something that’s immeasurable? Something that has no bounds – something completely unbounded… boundless? I am finite in this world. So are you. We have a beginning when we are born and we have an ending. It’s called death. So as humans, we are limited – the exact opposite of infinity because my dictionary defines it as “limitless, without beginning or end.”
So how can I portray this week’s photo challenge – infinity? How do you photograph something that’s endless because what we see in front of us may seem never-ending but there will come a termination point. There is the end of the road. There is a final destination. There is an end to a year, an end of a century, and an end of an era. There’s an end of the line. We live in a world full of endings.
We gaze into the sky and it seems so vast, we’re tempted to think of infinity. But even the sky is not limitless although we often declare countless possibilities by uttering the phrase, “the sky’s the limit.” I’m no scientific expert, but from everything I’ve learned, the sky as we see it eventually turns into space because the atmosphere changes. So I guess there really is a limit to the sky. When it comes to space, who knows? But I can’t photograph space since I don’t have a rocket ship real handy.
So what in my world is inestimable? What is everlasting? Is it love? Our music would have us believe that. A hit song from the late 60’s called Everlasting Love comes to my mind. But sometimes even human love has an ending, doesn’t it? What is eternal? Is it hope? Doesn’t hope spring eternal? Again in our humanity, even hope doesn’t last.
I could publish a photograph that embodies love or one that demonstrates the essence of hope and that might satisfy the photo challenge for some. But for me, I believe both love and hope emanate from an everlasting and eternal source – God.
Talk about infinity – Psalm 90: 1-6 tells us: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn men back to dust, saying, ‘Return to dust, O sons of men.’ For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning – though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.” (New International Version)
So we humans are limited to our few years here on earth whether they be one or 101. Our time is short compared to eternity and in our time here we are dried, withered, and gone. An ending. But God is never-ending, eternal. God is infinity.
And yet, this Almighty God offers us a way to join Him in eternity through His Son, Jesus Christ.
“..that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” ~ John 3:15-17 (New King James Version)
I made my decision long ago (and you can choose the same) to spend eternity with God in infinity. And the thought of that is beyond my comprehension and beyond the scope of my finite camera lens. Even though I can’t portray that infinity with a photograph, I know it is truth.