If you had a time machine, where, and when, would you go? This is a pretty good First Date Question.
The past is attractive, of course. I'd love to be there for the Sermon on the Mount. I'd be in the crowd for the Gettysburg Address. I'd go on a Unity tour; attending one of May Rowland's classes, or Johnnie Colemon's services, or just looking Charles Fillmore in the eye and shaking his hand would be a dream come true. I'd also show up for the opening day of Disneyland, buy stock in Apple, and try to warn the world that Vanilla Ice was not as good an idea as we all thought.
But I can't do those things. Even if I had the technology, every science fiction movie I've ever seen has warned me about the damage I could do. From accidentally preventing one's own birth to just having to hang around with Crispin Glover, we all know that Very Bad Things can happen when we monkey around with the space-time contiuum. But that's okay. I think it's better to do my best right where I am. If I try, maybe I can learn from the past and carry it forward, instead of trying to go back. I can't meet Mister Fillmore, but maybe something of what he tried to teach will come through in what I'm doing.
The future is tempting, too. It would be great to get next week's Powerball numbers. I'd pick up an iPhone 22. More than that, I'd love to meet my grandchildren ahead of time. I'd put on a disguise and attend my own church. Maybe I'd ask my future self for some advice. Maybe it would be better to ask Future Jenny instead.
I can't do those things, either. I've seen those movies, too. Besides, getting there is half the fun. Show me somebody who reads the last page of a mystery novel first, and I'll show you a party pooper. I want to be on this journey. The victories we experience, the family we create, the church we build are all the product of Spirit unfolding in and through us, and I don't want to miss a minute of this adventure.
Besides, there's no skipping ahead. If you were somehow able to fast forward to a future version of your life, you'd still be the present version of you, and before too long your present consciousness and conduct would turn the future into a shiner edition of the same challenges you're working on now. You know there's no geographical cure. Turns out there's no chronological one, either. There is just now. But right here, and right now, God is. You and I have what we need. The path to a better tomorrow has to do with being fully conscious today. There's a better way to say that, though. Here goes:
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34, NASB)
You've seen the same movies that I have. You know you're not supposed to go to the past or future and change things. Why? The verbiage may vary, but the theme is always the same. Even the tiniest actions in the past have dramatic repercussions in the future. Time travel is scary because of the inevitable ripple effect of every thought, word, and action. Fortunately, though, time travel is also impossible.
Except it isn't. It's not only possible, it's unavoidable. What if I told you that you were traveling through time right now? What if I told you that even the smallest thoughts, words, and actions are creative, right now? What would you do?
You are the protagonist in your movie, the hero of your journey. And, just like all the other heroes, you are more powerful, wonderful, and capable than you know. Every moment, every conversation, every seeming coincidence is conspiring to tell you who you are. Here's what you have to do: listen. When life tells you that you are special, believe it. When God says that you are "good, and very good," believe Him.
And then do something about it, hero. Don't pass an opportunity to live out loud, laugh out loud, love out loud. Show the world how powerful the ripple effect of a child of God can be.