The funny thing about my life is that I haven’t been present for much of it. There is a logical reason for my frequent and sometimes prolonged absences.
I have a time machine.
Possessing a time machine creates a powerful temptation to use it. It can be hard to resist.
I mean, when I step into my time machine, with a flip of a switch, I can instantly leave the present to revisit my past. If I want to, I can fly over any period of my personal history and survey the many happenings. Or, by punching in specific timeline data, I can precisely target any past moment of my life and relive the experience.
But that’s not the most exciting part.
By changing a few settings, I can actually time travel into the near or distant future. I can experience several different versions of future events, and I can repeat those future experiences as many times as I desire. It all feels so real, like it’s really happening.
I probably don’t have to go on explaining my time machine to you because I suspect you might have one, too. And it’s likely you’ve noticed the limitations to time travel. Although our time machines allow us to revisit our pasts, we can’t fix or recover anything. And as for all those future scenarios, they’re just different versions of a calamitous ending.
I don’t spend as much time in my time machine as I used to. But the enemy is always trying to lure me inside. In fact, I suspect he had a hand in building the thing. The old labels are peeling away, revealing the original design. The setting labeled “PAST” is really “REGRET.” The setting labeled “FUTURE” is actually “WORRY.” The enemy encourages me to choose either setting, and then offers to be my tour guide.
But time travel in this machine is a just a whole lot of going nowhere. Real living is being present with God in the present.
This is the great news. God redeems our past and secures our future. And He extends to us a standing invitation to meet Him where He is always waiting for us—in the present. Because of Christ and His cross, the past is our redemption accomplished and the future is our redemption fulfilled. The present is our redemption in process, and God is always inviting us to participate with Him in the redemptive work He is doing.
That old “time machine” is designed to preoccupy our thoughts so that we become absent from our own lives.
Now is where God is always moving, speaking and acting in our lives. Even now He is inviting us to be present with Him. He doesn’t want us to miss a thing.