I heard this statement last week:
"Eternal life is not the length of our lifespan in eternity,
but rather Who we know in that lifespan."
The school used this term to describe the depth of our knowledge about our lessons. When we were tested on each lesson, there was a minimum grade we had to score to continue on in our studies. If we didn't reach that grade, we were given two more opportunities to be tested on the information. If after that we failed to obtain "mastery" after three opportunities, we were out of the program.
(Once we passed, our failing grades were averaged along the passing score, therefore allowing our final grade to be a true reflection of our studies.)
Only once did I have to retake a test. I can remember my furious studying before taking the test for the second time. By the time I put pen to paper, I had true "mastery" of the subject.
And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.
In John 17 we are told life eternal is to know the true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. In this verse the word "know" does not have the definition of a casual, or superficial knowledge. It is a word used for the most intimate, in-depth of knowledge. It is the knowledge of mastery.
May we always continue on a path of ever-learning, ever coming more and more to know the Lord and His Son. This is life and this will be the eternal quest of our hearts. Never, even after eons of eternity will we be able to claim mastery of the depths of our God. Never will we be able to fully know His love, His mercy, His understanding. But, oh, the quest will be glorious.
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;