“It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
As I mentioned in another post, I recently saw “Edge of Tomorrow,” the futuristic Tom Cruise film about an alien invasion threatening humanity, where a man is forced to relive the last day of his life over and over, until he figures out how to save his company – and the world.
Decades before “Edge of Tomorrow” a “same but different” film was released, which I can pretty much guarantee will be shown on at least one TV network this Sunday.
“Groundhog Day” is a movie about a journalist named Phil, who, for reasons that remain unexplained, must relive Groundhog Day until he “gets it right.” Both movies have scenes where a few moments of dialogue or action are shown repeatedly with variations of failures as the hapless men learn what not to do through a long process of elimination. While in “Edge of Tomorrow” the future of all of Mankind is threatened, in “Groundhog Day” what is at risk is merely one man’s self-esteem and winning his love interest.
(“Edge of Tomorrow” is “Groundhog Day” on steroids.)
What is it about the concept of time travel that fascinates us? Why do we fantasize about being able to go back in time, especially the opportunity to relive or reenact the past, to be able to “fix” mistakes? I’m guessing this desire is at the root of the concept of karma, the idea of living countless lives on one’s way to enlightenment and the ultimate goal, “nirvana.”
But each day passes only once, and regret over the past is one of the most excruciating emotions known to man. The sheer hopelessness of knowing that something done in the past can never be undone has driven many to despair. How many of us have said, “If only I could go back to that day, and change that one thing, everything would be so different now!”
But time is one thing Man has no control over, and as much as we may want to fix the past, there are no “do-overs” in life. While we may not be able to go back and correct the past, we can make the right choices now. And we don’t have to flounder about finding out what the “right” choices are by endless trial and error. The Bible – the Word of God – gives us clear directions about what to do with our messed-up lives.
First, we must acknowledge our sin and need for a savior. (I John 1:9) We must repent, (or as my GPS says, “Turn around when possible“), and place our faith in Jesus as the One who paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross. (I Peter 2:24) If we do this, He will forgive us, save us, and help us live better lives from this moment on.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who have made horrendous mistakes, seemingly fatal blunders, and outright deliberate evil, who nevertheless after repenting had their lives transformed by the grace of God. Apparently, if you’re still breathing, it’s not too late. Ask the thief that was crucified next to Jesus. (Luke 21:41-43)
The Bible says we have one life, one chance to get it right, and it would be wise to listen to our Creator, especially when He has made His truth available to us. We can’t go back and undo our mistakes, but we don’t have to be stuck in the mistakes of the past, either. We can get unstuck and do what’s right, starting today.
One last note: This doesn’t mean we will be perfect, but if we keep short accounts with God – confess and repent as soon as we realize we’ve messed up – we can enjoy a relationship with Him that will last all our lives here – and into eternity! (John 3:16)
“Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2)
Prayer: Lord God of the past, present, and future, thank You for giving us Your Word to guide us through life. Thank You for forgiving us when we blow it and for helping us up when we stumble. Thank You that we don’t have to wallow in regrets over the past, but rather rejoice in Your grace and move on to a brighter future with You, in the name of Jesus, who died to pay for our sins and set us free. Amen