The Girl That Never Ages
There is a story from Science World Report on The Girl That Never Ages.
Scientists are looking into a disorder that prevents aging and may possibly hold the key to eternal youth. Yet the health issue is so rare that no medical term has been used to diagnose the condition.
Meet Gabby Williams, who carries both the facial features and skin of a newborn, weighing only 11 pounds, but is 8 years old. Yet, even at this age, her mother still feeds and cradles her as if she were a newborn. She also still wears diapers.
Doctors who have been studying this medical rarity have found a handful of cases around the globe similar to Gabby’s, but are still plagued by what genetic marker stops the aging process from turning on.
TLC television will be airing similar stories on Monday, Aug. 19, regarding the rare disorder at 10 p.m. ET, which is a follow up to Gabby’s story, titled “40-Year-Old Child: A New Case” that aired last year.
It’s going to take a while before we get all the markers needed to turn off aging.
But, I’m confident that it’s going to happen.
And then what?
Immortality vs. Agelessness
First, of course, simple agelessness is not the same as immortality. After all, we know in Genesis that many men lived for centuries, a few even approaching the 1,000 year mark. (Some may have gone over that mark, but are not recorded in Scripture.)
True immortality – never ever dying – is something that can’t be obtained by our own devices. But factor in the resurrection and judgement for all men (and a judgement for all fallen angels at least, and perhaps even the unfallen ones) and it can be seen that we are already immortal: some already locked into eternal life, others into eternal night.
Our Very Odd Situation
A few C.S. Lewis quotes are in order here:
- Humans are amphibians – half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.
- It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for a bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
- Nothing is more likely to destroy a species or a nation than a determination to survive at all costs.
- Let’s pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.
- There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.
And now, let’s touch on how these quotes helps us see agelessness.
Our current situation is really weird. Essentially, we plain old didn’t exist until we were conceived in our mother’s womb – or a petri dish, for a very small number of us. Then, a lot of us died, either in still birth, or abortion. In the future, a lot of us are likely to be altered in the womb, to fit the specifications of our families, or the State. Then, of those of us who were born, a solid majority died before reaching 12 years old until about a century ago, with the rise of sanitation.
If we survived all of this, we were pretty likely to live until 60 or so until a few decades ago, when our average lifespans started to go to the current place, the mid-80s for most in the developed world. Some of us may well be modified for agelessness in the future, or grow into cyborgs.
Then we died. All of us. With two possible exceptions.
Then, the whole lot of us, from those who were auto-aborted a few minutes after conception to good old Methuselah, the never-died Enoch and Elijah, and the Saviour Jesus, and uncounted generations in the future, were judged by God (but not all at the same time). Of us all spirit-flesh God-imaged beings, only Jesus was judged to be worth eternal life – the rest of us are far too corrupt to be allowed to stink up the universe for eternity.
But then Jesus extended his blood to cover those who call on His name, and acknowledged Jesus Christ as King. So those of us He calls us His own – all diseased sinners, regardless of race or genetic flaws or death before we even got out of the womb, or the sins we did from white lies to truly repentant psychotic monsters (who left the psychotic part behind, perhaps moments before their rightful execution) – gets to be purified, rendered truly sinless, and joy-filled co-rulers of the New Creation with the Creator-Savior-Judge for eternity.
And His enemies – no matter their age, genetic purity, outward piety, political power, wealth, or renown – are cast after the final judgement in the Lake of Fire, where they will burn eternally.
And – just in case anyone never told you – eternity is a really long time. I mean, vastly more than all the atoms in the observable universe. From our point of view – who haven’t even lived to our first million years yet – it is simply unimaginable. Even if the Apostle John (who was at one time rumoured to be commanded to live until the Second Coming) was still walking the earth with us, his 2,000 years of life would be almost nothing compared to eternity.
About that Point 4….
Yes, even though I would argue that the very shape of the universe demands that we go to the stars, it is still true that we have never been given the right to the stars in the Bible. It is quite possible that we will never be able to really get off and stay off of our world until after the Second Coming.
Or, alternately, that we do briefly hold the Moon and Mars: but our own stupidity and violence destroys our chance at greatness before the Second Coming. (This is my own opinion).
“Ageless, and networked we may be: but so long as we are sinners, we just keep on crippling ourselves in new ways, so we can never really blossom without Christ directly cleansing us and directly leading us.” – quote from a sci-fi book I have yet to write.
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
– C.S. Lewis
Sinful flesh cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
– I Corinthians 15:50