Several months ago, I wrote a philosophical metaphor on my website entitled, The Geometry of Life. Here on Hoosier Ink, I’ve considered how our lives as writers affect eternity within this theme of geometry. It’s deep but simple. I promise I won’t strain brains that are not math-oriented!
Let me start with lines. Lines give me a stomach ache, and my fifth grade classes often experienced the same reaction. I told them to think about forever and drew a line on the chalkboard for the entire length of the board, an arrow pointing away on both ends:
I started my speech. “To my left, this line continues off the board, through the window, across the parking lot, goes all the way through Indiana, then to outer space until it’s beyond our solar system, our galaxy, and beyond the farthest galaxy that we know about. It never stops.” I moved to the right and repeated another set of distance markers. Long before I finished, the class was moaning as the idea of forever began to sink in.
God’s existence has no beginning and no end. Excruciating to our finite minds. As a child, I tried to picture forever. My mind traveled as far as the stars beyond my vision, and then, and then… and then…….. I pictured a kite sailing in a blue sky. Imagination had to return to earth. I couldn’t see forever. I couldn’t handle the concept.
Moving on to rays. I marked a dot on the board, then drew a line in one direction to the end of the board. I told my students: “Every person can be compared to a ray. Each of us has a starting point. Starting points we understand. We were born, we live a given number of years, we pass from this life, and we spend forever in heaven or in hell.”
The students’ groaning started anew. People have a beginning, but they have no end. While my limited mind can’t wrap itself around the glories of heaven forever, I’m smart enough to know that I don’t want to exist in the agonies of hell for any amount of time, much less forever. My students agreed.
Line segments are easy. We’re comfortable. Time on earth is a line segment. You’re born, you live your life, you die. Life on earth has a beginning and an end.
Points became another challenge for my classes. A line, which goes on forever, is made up of points. One… after the other… You can’t count them. They are of infinite number. (Another chorus of groans.) But each point is significant. I completed the analogy by demonstrating how each point is a single human life on earth making up the line of eternity.
What I do with my little dot on eternity has a bearing on which direction I eventually continue, an eternal ray.
As writers, our words will most likely outlive us. Anything we publish will affect our readers—positively or negatively—for Christ. Even our personal letters can inspire or devastate readers for the rest of their lives.
Love God, help your neighbor, work hard to produce something good in God’s eyes. This is every writer’s mission. God gives us guidance in an infinite number of ways to accomplish our tasks.
At this point in my life (pun intended), I want, more than anything else, for my stories, my novels, my blog posts, or my articles to point to Jesus, a ray pointed toward heaven.
Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister.
Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft. She still visits the school and teaches creative writing workshops.
Where Linda can be found on the web: