Some of my favorite television shows and movies involve time travel. Whether it be Doc Brown and his shiny Delorean in Back to The Future, or The Doctor in his flying blue TARDIS… Time travel has always been a plot point that fascinates me. Captain Kirk used time travel to bring a pair of humpback whales into the 23rd century (Star Trek IV, one of the best star trek movies ever). And who could forget when Bill and Ted had their Excellent adventure?
I’ve always fantasized about stepping into the delorean or the TARDIS, and allowing myself to be whisked away to some far off place or time. Or maybe to allow myself to go back in time and confront my younger self in order to prevent some of the major mistakes I’ve made. I tend to think about my life and think back to all those moments in time that could use a do over. I wish I would have bought bitcoin back in 2009 or 2010, back when the prices were cheap. I wish I would’ve invested in Google, when they first started out. I wish I had applied myself earlier and focused on schooling and religious studies. I wish I had focused on proper career paths. I wish I had found my wife sooner. I wish we would have joined the Orthodox church way before we actually did. I wish I had done all of these things back then, instead of trying to figure out how to move my life forward now.
I always thought, if I could go back in time and do everything over again, my life would be so much easier. I’ve even prayed to God, asking him to send my mind back into my younger self, that way I could not only warn those I love about what will happen to them, but also prevent the things I’ve done that I am now ashamed of. My thought was that it would be for the Glory of God and for my own benefit. I would be able to change my life and truly be the man that I think I am.
I see myself as a humble Orthodox Christian. One who is involved with his faith. One who is proud to be orthodox. One who provides for his family and acts as the leader. I look at myself and see an apostle, willing to follow Christ and spread his word. In all actuality however, I am much worse. I am a pharisee, cynical and wise, telling rich ungodly lies about humanity. I praise God in church and pray at home, but then curse other drivers on the road and then fail to practice humility while instead I brag of my own spiritual accomplishments.
I was recently given some tough love that opened my eyes to the truth. I am not the man that I picture. I am not where I want to be in life. I am not prepared currently for the goals in my heart. God, give me a time machine so I can go back and fix these things! This tough love angered me and then because I couldn’t handle the words that were said, I went into a mini depression for several hours the next day. I spent the following day going over my past, my sins, my actions, my missed opportunities, my failures as a husband and as a father, and my lack of faith. The thoughts I held were not happy. A swirl of negative thoughts combined with sad emotions and painful memories danced around me like a thousand angry bees. These thoughts not only stung me, but they also brought up old and long buried thoughts about my own self worth and whether or not I mattered.
I won’t lie, sometimes being in my head really sucks. I spent the better part of the day in this cloud of depression, all the while trying to practice the Jesus Prayer, listening to inspirational orthodox podcasts, and trying to break my mind out of the despair. I settled upon dreaming of the time machine once more. Oh Lord, if only you’d let me go back and fix my life!
But if I did that, would I loose my son? If I went back in time and changed my life, then the good things I have in my life might not happen. Who knows if the circumstances would line up just right for my son to be conceived? Would my wife fall in love with me sooner, if we hadn’t met at the moment we did? If I told my dad about his Parkinson’s 15 years before hand, would he believe me? Would he want to know? Would I still have my sins on my conscience even if I had no longer committed them? Just because this new “past me” hadn’t done it, my conscience would still have the memories. My soul would still be judged. Would it be worth the extra fortune if I invested my money? Would extra money really help my spiritual endeavors? What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? If I went back to fix the bad, would I in turn loose all the good?
I stood in prayer this morning during the divine liturgy. My negative thoughts were starting to bubble up again. I was once again being reminded of the things I’m not proud of. My heart started wishing for the time machine once more. I looked into the eyes of Christ and pleaded once more with him for help. The little radio of my heart suddenly crackled to life. Ian, if I sent you back in time, it would only be for your satisfaction. It would do nothing for my glory. I can not send you to the past. We can only live in the present and plan for the future. I can’t send you back, but I can forgive your sins… and help you have a better future.
The words spoke true. It’s time to stop living in the past and dreaming about the what if’s. Time travel isn’t real, at least not as presented on tv. And when it comes to making your life better, the best time is now. This whole situation reminds me of an old Chinese proverb. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” You can’t change the past. You can only learn, move on, and do better. Here’s to a better tomorrow.
Thanks for reading my friends. I hope you all are doing well. Let me know what you think and if you can relate.
Until next time my friends,
– Orthodox Trucker