Time Traveler

.jpg 54[For the months of November and December, I will be posting once a week on Tuesdays.]

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.

10 thoughts on “Time Traveler

  1. I like to think of the past as an old, rusty bear trap. It’s all the things that people told you you couldn’t do when you were younger, the failures that they counted against you. Step into it, in the guise of nostalgia about the great old Christmas of 19-whatever, and you’ll be limping the thing around your present.

    The good parts of the past live on in our hearts. They make us what we are today, and will never leave us.

    Let the bad blow away in the wind.

    • “I like to think of the past as an old, rusty bear trap.”
      I laughed out loud at that great metaphor. Well said. Yes, there’s a way reflect on the past with the perspective of redemption, and there’s a way to revisit the past that leaves you limping around the present in the rusty jaws of an old bear trap.

  2. “Hello, my name is Jeanne, and I am a time traveler…..” Yes, Dave. You nailed it. I’ve lived in regret, and I’ve replayed out things I said and did (and things that were said and done to me). I’ve rationalized them, tried to change them. I’ve worried about those “What If’s…” of the future, and ended up with knots where my stomach should be.

    I loved, LOVED what you said about the past being our redemption accomplished and the future being our redemption fulfilled. Absolutely profound. Now, as I live in the present, I’ll choose to think on what is true rather than the What If’s and the Maybe’s.

    Thank you for giving my mind good food to munch on as I begin this day.

    • Well, it seems we are both members of Time Travelers Anonymous 🙂 So let’s keep helping each other to live in the present–one day at a time.
      I appreciate your transparency, Jeanne, in sharing how you’ve succumbed to that temptation to step into the time machine. Your comments always benefit me by refocusing my attention on the truth that I need to embrace and practice. Thank you so much for processing truth with me!

  3. Dave, love the picture of your time machine. “OCCUPIED” made me smile. Don’t know why I like to kick against the goads so often instead of going willingly, contentedly where Christ is leading me. Like you I’m spending far less time in my time machine. I’ve found it to be highly overrated. I am learning to accept “most” 🙂 things he has for me and I’m beginning to experience more and more peace in my life. Thanks for the encouragement bro!

    • Thanks for your feedback on the drawing and your comments on this post. I love what you say about your own experience and I certainly can relate. I’m not fighting against God as much these days. Instead, I am learning to cooperate with Him in what He is doing. Like you, I’m learning to go “willingly and contentedly where Christ is leading me.” And, like you, I am experiencing more of His peace. Right on, brother.

  4. Okay, I want to know what happened on April 6, 1974! Yes, many times I am tempted to think, “If only I could go back and do that over again.” But then I wouldn’t be the person I am today–all those things molded us and shaped us. And they help us to be compassionate with others with the same issues.
    You are gifted with analogies that help one to see right to the heart of the matter. Thank you!

    • I think I was time travelling that day:-) If there is a particular significance to that date, it is buried deeply in my subconscious. But you’ve got me wondering. In any case, it’s the redeeming love of God that can make our past experiences formative and trans-formative. And you’re right about the increased compassion we can have for others.
      Thank you for your insightful comments and your kind compliments 🙂

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