In addition to numerous movies over the years, there are at least two TV shows being aired currently that involve time machines. Beyond that, the idea has crept, as a sub-plot or underlying theme, into probably hundreds of other productions. It’s a captivating idea, and one that always attracts attention, but the reactions among those characters who happen to invent or sneak into one that somebody smarter than they are invented are pretty predictable. They either want to go back into the past to fix something they screwed up or head into the future to escape their present set of circumstances. Some characters are more altruistic and claim that they only want to zip around in their chronological hot-rod to accomplish beneficial things, or to avert unnecessary tragedies. These guys are the heroes, and their ambitions are only to do good, or at worst, remain benign. The bad guys, on the other hand, are, well… bad. They want either to get rich, inflict some kind of revenge, or manipulate things to gain power and control over everybody in the whole universe.
I Want One ~
I have to confess, if I could find a good deal on a time machine, I’d probably go for it—assuming they had some kind of payment plan I could work with. I’m not at all intrigued, though, with the notion of power and control over the whole universe. I’ve gotten frustration fatigue and borderline homicidal tendencies just trying to run any one of the endless varieties of Baptist church committees, so taking on the whole universe is definitely out—can’t imagine how many Baptist committees would come wrapped up in that assignment!
My temptation in having a time machine would run more along the lines of sitting in the thing with a Krispy Kreme donut. I’d eat my donut and then go back to just before I ate it and then eat it again. I could do that for hours and never gain a pound! Who wouldn’t get excited over a time machine perk like that? But the sad truth is that even if I had a time machine, it would be worn out in no time (if that’s not an oxymoron). Like most of the characters who stumbled onto one, I’d want to go back and fix things – and therein, as they say, lies the rub. If eating donuts and fixing the calorie problem didn’t wear it out, I’d wreck it running back and forth, because fixing the multitudes of other things I did wrong yesterday would, unfortunately, have no capacity to keep me from screwing up something else today or tomorrow.
There’s good news, bad news, and best news with that whole time machine issue. The good news is that in spite of the efforts of inventors, science fiction writers, movie makers, TV producers, and conspiracy theorists to convince us otherwise, time machines don’t really exist. So, at least we don’t have to worry about wasting our lives running back and forth in time and getting nowhere. The bad news is the same as the good news. Time machines don’t really exist. Sorry. Put your donut down, or be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Something Better ~
The best news is that God provided something far better than a time machine. He provided a resource with the incredible quality of having been there with us at every point in our past, and who knows everything about what lies ahead in our future. And that’s just the beginning. Even if we had a time machine, regardless of what era we chose as a destination, we’d still be stuck with being us when we stepped out of it. Even imaginary time machines never claimed to transform people from what they were into that perfect specimen we all want to become, much less deliver anyone from the tyranny of time itself forever. In Jesus Christ, God does both. He invites us into something better than a machine. It’s an eternal relationship with Him through His Son. He invites us into a state where the condemnation for every wrong we ever did, no matter when or where it was, is immediately eliminated. And there’s more. He doesn’t just take care of our flawed behavior. He begins a process that will result in our final transformation into that eternally perfected being we were designed to be. As John said:
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (I John 5:11 NKJV).
Pass Me a Donut Anyway ~
Without Him we’re stuck with who we are, what we are, where we are, bound to the guilt of all that we’ve done, and facing judgment with limited time rapidly running out. So, what do you think? I’d recommend Jesus over a time machine – but I’m still gonna eat that donut, calories and all.
© 2017 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
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