In 1970, country singer Sonny James, who had topped the country charts with a remake of ‘It's Just a Matter of Time’ earlier in the year, released his version of ‘Endlessly’ as a single. It was James' sixteenth number-one song on the ‘U.S. Country Singles’ chart. The single spent three weeks at Number 1 and a total of fourteen weeks In the chart. British singer Tom Jones also recorded a version, released on his 1965 debut album ‘Along Came Jones’.
This is a song that I can vaguely remember from my growing-up years and was so glad to come across it again a few days ago. I have never sung it before but find the melody so good that it was certainly worth the effort of me spending a few hours learning the tune and words.
I cannot think about any concept of ‘eternity’ or any aspect of my life that will endure ‘endlessly’ after I am buried, and the flesh of my corpse has rotted and my bones disintegrated back to dust; with the exception of the ‘Love’ I feel today for family, friends and God.
Although I love every moment of my life on earth, I realise as much as the next person in the bus queue that both my life and the existence on this earth itself will sadly one day end and I will leave behind loved ones with their grief and sense of loss. When my time arrives that I must leave this earth, I hope that those I leave behind are consoled by the knowledge that the love I held for them will not die with me and that along with my soul, that I will carry to the next life.
Sadly, all the art in the world I have loved and appreciated will not experience the immortal movement of time. Indeed, I believe strongly that we were each born to this earth as flesh and bone to serve our apprenticeship of worthiness. I believe that we were placed on earth to train for eternity. Our bodies are no more than a temple for our immortal spirit, and it flies in the face of God’s purpose to make our soul a servant of our body and not the body servant to the soul. I believe that though we cannot experience our life as an endless present, in the heart of God we remain as eternal as His love. Time is but a fleeting shadow of the world upon the backcloth of eternity. As a Christian all my life, I have been brought up in the belief that the old history of humans ended with the cross and our newest history began with the resurrection. It is this belief which makes ‘eternity’ a viable construct in my mind and the expression of ‘Love’ the one aspect of our humanity that will endure ‘endlessly’ as it moves from person to person and place to place.
Nowhere is this ‘eternal love’ more easily seen and felt than in our love for each other. My love for my wife, Sheila grows in strength daily, much more than I ever thought possible. It burns through my body like an eternal flame, and my dearest wish is that my death will not extinguish it in her body and soul. I know that we are but two people on a huge planet and that our feelings for each other are but a drop in the ocean of positive emotion, but if it could speak in words of understanding, I suspect that the vast ocean envies the depth of our love for each other.
Whatever eternity is made up of, it isn’t ‘time’, but it is ‘Love’. For it is the love of one person expressed to another that keeps the world spinning on an axis of perpetual motion. ‘Time’ is but a tangible moment after moment of the present. I once read that the call of death is a call of love and that death itself can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative when God calls us to Him. If we can see death with such eyes, it becomes nothing more than a transformation of life in the present into the future, into eternity.
Meanwhile, despite presently battling the effects of three separate cancers in my body (two of them known to be terminal in type, and one yet to be decided upon), I intend to live forever…. or die trying.
Love and peace. Bill xxx