Friday, September 23, 2011

A Message from the Future

Comer struggled to get in the car yesterday when I picked up he and Evelyn from the Assisted Living home.
"How are you today?" I asked.
"Oh fine except these legs are just not working the way they used to. You know I was always athletic. Now I can barely walk. I never thought I'd end up like this." 
This was uncharacteristic of Comer. He doesn't usually complain, at least not around me.
"Did you ever think you would make it to 93?" I asked.
"No, there were days in the war I didn't think I'd make it to that evening."
"Well maybe being a little weak in the legs is not a bad payoff."
"No, maybe not."
I had to scream every word during our outing, or he couldn't hear it. My throat was sore by the end of our time together. When we pulled up to the fast food window, I screamed our order. The cashier stepped back, with the force of my words.
"Mom," reminded Asherel quietly, "You don't need to shout to her." 
"Oh, that's true..." I said, glancing in the mirror at Comer and Evelyn, smiling and holding hands as usual.  "Thank you, " I whispered, as the cashier handed back the credit card.

I read in the paper that scientists think they have discovered a particle that moves faster than the speed of light. This throws Einstein out on the curb with the other discarded certainties of human discovery. But the really captivating part of that discovery is if it is true, then time travel is possible. Einstein had always said that if anything could be found to travel faster than light, then we could send a telegram to the past.  I thought about that. I could send a telegram to me yesterday before I used my finger to clean the inside of the sharp container and I would not be wearing a bandaid on a throbbing thumb today. Think of all the accidents that have had devastating consequences that could be avoided, and all the severed relationships that could be mended as words and actions were all taken back...or deleted as though they never happened. Think of all the wisdom of the years that we could write down to warn and guide our younger selves, our selves that were athletes before  the onslaught of time and muscle decay.

  Knowing what we know, what would we do differently? And if we did it differently, because of that time traveling telegram, when we reached the point in the future when the telegram would be sent, it would not need to be sent anymore, but if it was never sent, then the past would be see the problem. In my case, there would be too many telegrams that would need to be sent. About one every ten minutes.

"Vicky, this is a message from your future. I would strongly recommend you do not do what you are about to do."
"Vicky, this is another message from your future. I would highly suggest you do not say what you are about to say."
"Vicky, this is yet another message from your future. I want to warn you that your future is taking up so much time warning you about all the stupid things you are doing in your past, that when you get here, all you will be doing is writing warning messages. Not much of a life, if you ask me."

So God has solved the problem. He put every warning in a Book that could be adapted to every situation. And then, traveling faster than light, He looked back at what He had created, and He shook His head.
  "They mean well, sometimes, but they are not paying as much attention to the Book as I had hoped."

And so He knew what He had to do from the Beginnning, because being faster than Light, He could see even from that moment how badly we were going to manage even a simple task like not tasting a forbidden fruit.  So He arranged a telegram from the Future, that would travel all the way back to our Past, and all Pasts, and dwell within us to remind us all the time what we needed to remember so that our Future would not be one of continual regret, writing messages of all the things we should have done. And He saw that even then, we would blow it. So He sent the most perfect Solution of all creation. He sent Redemption and Atonement based not on what we could do, which we had proven was prone to disaster, but on what He could do. And the only requirement of us was Faith. Why faith, I often wonder. Here is what I think. You cannot take a leap of faith without humility. It is pride that makes us think we can achieve perfection. Pride that thinks we can be God. Pride that thinks we don't need anyone but ourselves. And time is the greatest humbler of all. None of us think those athletic legs will one day no longer be able to walk. All of us recoil from arrogance, and most of us don't see it in ourselves. Why do we all have such a negative response to arrogance? I think it is because it is in the end what separates us, from each other, from God.

I would write more, but I am getting telegrams by the minute from my future.....

2 Kings 19:22-23
22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?
   Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
   Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers
   you have ridiculed the Lord.