How to Time Travel
A religious look at how we can change the past, live in the present, and direct our future.
I love a good time travel story. Heck, I’ve often loved a bad time travel story. There is just something about time travel that is fun. They are fun to watch, fun to talk about, and fun to tear apart.
Seriously, in the original Terminator, how is John Conner even in the future, to send his dad back in time, if his dad was not yet in the past to get his mom pregnant so he can be in the future?
That gives me a headache…
Anyway, since today is the future from Back to the Future, I wanted to talk about how time travel and how it affects our past, our present and our future.
Time Travel and the Past
What would you go back and change if you could travel back in time?
What mistake would you fix or prevent? I know what I would do and every single one involves a relationship.
What about you? I bet (almost) every mistake you would go back and fix involves a relationship.
So, go back in time. Confess. Forgive. Confront. Make the first move. Make the first call.
Does the relationship need to be restored? Make the first move.
Maybe the relationship does’t need to be restored. Maybe it was abusive. In that case forgive.
Often the person we need to forgive or let off the hook is ourselves.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, (Philippians 3:13)
The past is past. What happened — or what didn’t happen — is done. That said, the past can still have a grip on us. Again, make the first move.
So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. (James 5:16)
Did you hurt someone? It is not too late to make amends. Forgive them or forgive yourself. You may not be able to change the past, but you can change how it affects your present.
So yeah, in a way you can affect the past and change your present.
Time Travel and the Present
As much as I like this video, it is misleading. Sure, the future is what we make it. But I tend to muck things up. I would rather God make my future.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
That is my single favorite verse on purpose. Notice how simple it is:
- Trust in the Lord
- Don’t trust in yourself
- Acknowledge Him (as in obey)
- He will make your path straight
Obey God and He will make your path straight. Notice he will not put you on a new path! This path you are on — this life — even though it is shaped as it is from your past, is your path. God won’t take you off of this path and put you on another. Instead He will make this path straight!
Yes, God will use your life, your story, yes, even your past mistakes, for His glory!
He will make your path straight when you obey him.
And get this — He has told us what to do. Read Paul and Peter.
- Husbands — Love your wife like Christ loved the Church (sacrificially).
- Wives — Submit to your husbands
- Parents — Don’t exasperate your kids and raise them to love God.
- Kids — Obey and honor your parents.
- Masters (Employers) — Treat your workers well, and as fellow heirs of Christ and equal in God’s sight.
- Slaves (Employees) — Obey your boss and do your job for God, not for man.
I know, easy saying, hard doing. But God has told us what he expects.
Remember, God knows you will not always do this. Don’t forget I John.
But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us. (I John 1:9–10)
Will you fail? Yes.
Will you sin? Yep.
But God knows, loves you anyway (Romans 5:8). Confess, be cleansed, keep going.
Time Travel and the Future
What would you do if you knew the future? How would your life — and your decisions — be different if you knew what the future held?
God Knows the Future. And we know God. We know the guy who knows the future. We trust (see Time Travel and the Present) the One who knows the future.
Oh yeah, not only does God know the future, but God wins.
Be bold. Be faithful. The One we follow is the one who wins.
For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11)
Yeah, I know this was not written to you or to me. But, I do believe that the point God made does indeed apply to us!
Read the rest of this passage and notice what God says:
- When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers.
- When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you.
- If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you.
Call out to God. Pray to — talk with — God. Seek him with all your heart and all of your soul and all of your might. He will be there for you.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Want to change the future? Do the right thing today.
Good relationships don’t happen by accident. Do the right thing today. Plant that “good relationship” today and it will blossom in the future.
Want that new/different job? What do you need to do today to make that happen in the future?
The future is coming. And, to some degree, you can shape it today. Just remember that God is in charge, not you. So how do these two things work together?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes. You ought to say instead, “If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows what is good to do and does not do it is guilty of sin. (James 4:13–17)
Do good. Obey God. Trust the One who knows — and controls — the future.
Until next time, — God bless.
Simon L Smith
So, what is your favorite time travel movie?