Got Potential?

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Time Travel

January 26th, 2010 · No Comments

“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

I remember watching a movie as a boy; “The Time Machine”. The movie, I later discovered, was loosely based on the H.G Wells book of the same name. The movie version has been remade a couple of times; the last version in 2002. If you like old fashioned science fiction, it’s a pretty good story.

The idea of traveling through time fascinated me as a kid … honestly, it fascinates me as an adult. The problem with the hero in the story (as far as I was concerned) was that he always traveled into the future. If it was me, I’d travel into the past. If I traveled into time past I’d be able to fix what went wrong and then, by the time I caught up with the present, things would be a lot better than they are because I had a chance to go back and fix them.

If I could go back in time, and if I was able to remember what happened when, I’d warn people of impending disaster – natural and man-made. By knowing what bad was going to happen in advance, I’d have a chance of preventing it from happening, or at least warning others to prepare for some terrible event I couldn’t stop.

I’d also know who was going to win the World Series and the Super Bowl. But I’m not great at remembering things like that and, besides, it would take the fun out of watching.

Privately, if I was able to travel back in time, I could undo a lot of the dumb things I’ve done in life. I’d finish college at twenty-two instead of dropping out at nineteen. I’d take my time and energy and youth a lot more seriously. I’d put more into the days I wasted. I’d do the things I should have done then, instead of regretting not doing them now. Mostly, I’d not say and do the things I’ve said and done over a lifetime that have hurt others. If I could go back in time and start fresh I’d be a lot better person.

I was thinking about time travel and what I’d do differently when it occurred to me that, because of my human nature, even if I could travel back in time, there’s no guarantee I’d behave better. There’s a pretty good chance that going back in time wouldn’t fix anything because it would still be me who was going back; a time machine isn’t going to fix that. Like Forrest Gump’s momma said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Once I gave up on the notion that I’d behave differently if I was given another shot at the past and gave up the notion of a science fiction time machine, it occurred to me that a real time machine might exist.

A real time machine?

Yeah, I know it sounds like I’m back in science fiction land again, but it’s true; I’ve discovered a real time machine. This time machine doesn’t go back in time, it goes forward – but not super fast like the one in the H.G. Wells story; the real time machine moves forward in real time.

That was my first mistake in thinking about time machines, there’s no reverse gear; just like time, they only move forward, never backward (H.G. Wells was right on that point). My second mistake was in my thinking about time itself. I thought going back into the past would fix my present situation. But I learned, since I can’t go back in time, that I can only fix where I am now so that as I go forward I can look back and not regret where I’ve been.

Confused yet?

Time only moves forward and my time machine only moves forward – at the same rate as time. I can time travel into tomorrow … but, since my time machine operates in real time, it’ll take me about twenty-four hours. The only way to affect my future is by what I do in my present. What I do today will have an effect on where I find myself tomorrow. So I can change tomorrow by what I do today. I can fix my future-present by how I behave in my present-present.

I also discovered that my time machine has a fine-tune adjustment; even though future time extends out forever, present time happens right now. If I want this time travel thing to really work right, I’ve got to be at the controls moment by moment.

Wishing for a time machine that would fix my past in order to improve my present was all wrong. I can’t travel back in time – only forward. When that finally clicked in my head I realized I was already traveling in time – I was traveling forward! I can’t go back and fix my past, but I can move forward and create a better past as I go.

I can’t undo all the dumb and hurtful stuff I’ve done and said in the past. Thankfully, God knows that and He can undo my past by forgiving me and giving me a clean slate today. My job is to travel forward in time, doing what I know is right and not doing what I know is wrong, creating my past as I go and not regretting a minute of it.

I admit, this whole time travel concept can be confusing; but now that I know which direction it goes in I’ll travel with it – right here and now.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

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