Several years ago, one of my favorite TV commercials promoted the “Discovery Channel” (You can still view it on YouTube.) Two office workers, a man and a woman, are looking down from a business office onto the street. Someone drops an umbrella. The woman says: “Great. Now they’ll be cats everywhere.” The man looks puzzled.
Down below, a man trips over the umbrella, a girl screams, scaring a squirrel, which runs down a tree in front of a huge milk truck, which swerves, and falls to its side. Milk spills all over. Then a lot of cats enter to drink the milk. The final screen has the text: “Know more than you should… [watch the] Discovery Channel.”
I like this commercial because it’s a good spoof on predicting the future. Such predictions are fascinating, the topic of many books, science fiction stories, and of course sermons. It’s a fact of life, a principle of God’s creation, I believe, that human beings simply cannot predict the future with accuracy.
From a spiritual point of view, I believe the theory of time is quite simple: the past is over and done. Gone. The future hasn’t happened yet. As we travel into the future, God is traveling through time with us. Jesus entered into our time to be our “Emmanuel” which means “God with us.” All we really have is “NOW.” It’s impossible to go back and change the past. We are, in fact, traveling through time, with God, into the future. Not only is time a gift, God’s presence is a gift.
What we DO with this gift of time and God’s presence in our lives is of ultimate importance. I have three suggestions.
(1) Make sure your relationship with God is right. Ask yourself daily: “How are things going between you and God?” Jesus said that disciples are “friends.” We do well to ask ourselves, “How is my friendship with Jesus going these days?”
(2) Engage in daily prayer, daily conversation with God. Read God’s Word daily, to touch your mind, heart, body, soul. The Word of God was designed for us as a time-traveling companion. Scripture helps us make sense of the journey. We need mentors and spiritual guides to help us understand this companion. God thankfully provides such help.
(3) Die to sin. A basic calling of scripture is “repent.” We need to daily rejects the sin that separates us from God and from other people. In dying to sin, resurrection follows. God, in Christ Jesus, enters into our lives and raises us up to new life.
There’s nothing better than to travel into the future with God, who constantly gives us grace, peace, forgiveness, love, joy, etc. With Jesus, we travel forward to eternal life. That’s Good News! Amen!