It’s been an amazing Time Travel Week. On Monday I introduced the idea that time travel is human; our minds “travel” from past to future and back again all day long. I then introduced the Five Indispensable Axioms of Time Travel, the guiding principles of effective time travel. Next, I unpacked the first three axioms. Yesterday, axiom #4.You really need to read the whole series if you haven’t already. It’ll totally bend your brain.

Today, the finale:

AXIOM #5: Don’t get stuck.

This is the white-knuckle fear plaguing all time travellers: What if I can’t get back? Gulp. And it’s a biggie. Even Dr. Who fears this possibility: Without his Tardis, his time machine, he’s stuck wherever he happens to be visiting.

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to visit the past and get stuck there either. Same with the future. Most of us want to live in our real time, in the now. Unless we’re growing up believing the Victorian era was really steampunk and think it was totally cool. I promise you it wasn’t, and you wouldn’t want to live there.

Moving on, you’ve probably met people who are stuck in the past.

  • The weird guy at work who is “so eighties.” I mean, he still listens to Van Halen. The old Van Halen. But who am I kidding, does it matter which Van Halen?
  • The girl you know who never stops talking about how bad her previous boyfriend was.
  • The guy who never forgave himself for his moral failure a few years back.

What about people stuck in the future?

  • The couple who are so focused on laying up a nest-egg for retirement that they are losing their children in the present moment.
  • The guy who can’t stop worrying about the responsibilities of the coming week.
  • The self-employed woman who can’t stop talking about what life will be like when she becomes financially independent.

What about people stuck in the present? Yes, that’s possible, and just as tragic:

  • The dude who never plans ahead because he’s too busy living by the seat of his pants.
  • The girl who is so focused on being accepted in the moment that she gives herself away to the guy of the month.
  • The leader who is never aware of history and never builds on the richness of the past.

But not getting stuck isn’t just about avoiding things. It’s about mobility. A healthy person (and a thriving Christ-follower) is able to navigate past, present, and future with fluidity and skill, without getting stuck as they jump back and forth. They leverage both their past and their future to thrive in the present.

Speaking of the present, that’s where we live our lives, so mature Christians are able to live in the moment most the time, traveling into the past or future when going there will help them thrive more fully in the now. For example,

  • They travel into the future in prayer to lay a request before God. Then they return to the moment at peace, sure God will take care of it.
  • They travel into the past with Jesus to deal with a wound or disappointment. They return to the present with perspective and can move on with life.
  • They travel into the past to thank God for what he’s done for them. Then live in the moment with gratitude.

Notice I said mature believers live in the moment, not for the moment. Living for the moment is about pleasure seeking. Living in the moment is about stepping up and owning our one and only life.

By the way, this is only the tip of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to time travel. But what do you think? Has this been a helpful series for you? Please comment below.

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