Time Traveler

How could we endure to live and let time pass as
if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back –
if we did not know that every day in life
fills the whole life with expectation and memory
and that these are that day. ~ C.S. Lewis

I once had a watch that lost 5 minutes a day. That’s not very much time really – only about 30 hours a year. But I had to keep resetting it or I’d lose track of time.

We are time travelers by nature. We talk often of the danger and damage of time travel if the voyage is a negative one. It’s costly to dwell in negative past: living in grief or guilt or resentment – rehashing and replaying what was or wasn’t.

And we warn each other of the perils of the dwelling in the negative future: the land of what if, of dread and worry and fear. We make a concentrated effort to maintain sea walls against those aspects of the past and the future.

I’ve been thinking about other types of time travel that distract from the gifts of the moment. Fine, fond memories that call to me, happy and exciting things yet to come, vie for my attention and my heart.

I can be having a delicious breakfast that I almost don’t taste because I’m off thinking about dinner. I can be looking at a beautiful sight without fully taking it in because I’m anticipating what’s around the next corner.

The past serves both as a reference point and a treasure. When I visit it that way, as a place of lessons learned or in sweet remembrance, it’s of rich value.

Pleasant anticipation of the future is a part of hope. It only becomes problematic when I stake my tent in the past or the future, regardless of the landscape. The trouble with time traveling is that I miss the moment I’m actually living in. It’s like my 5 minute a day watch. I lose time.

If I could add up all the hours spent in dread or anticipation and all the hours spent remembering with pleasure or with grief, I’m certain it would add up to much more than 30 hours a year.

The past and the future are fine places to visit, but poor places to live. Not only does the Father promise sufficient grace for this moment, but it is in this moment that He speaks. If I’m not here, I won’t hear.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

27 thoughts on “Time Traveler”

  1. The moment is the best place – so true. I too often do have the “negative future” trying to play on the mental TV. Another reason I love to read work like yours Debbie. bless you.

  2. What a profound truth Deb! How much time I have lost in regret and reminiscence. Hopw much more has been lost in worry or in anticipation. We have so little time to do the work of the day before the night sets in…your warning is one I am taking to heart!

    1. Me, too, my friend. I suppose I’ve lost years. I’m learning to reign in my wandering thoughts. Sometimes their like lemmings jumping off the cliff! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Hello lanilea and welcome to TMG!
      There certainly can be great joy and fun in thinking about the future for short bits of time. In reality though, it rarely works out quite the way we’d imagined – sometimes even better, and sometimes disappointing.
      Sort of like all of the dreaded events and what ifs, many of which never even materialized.
      I don’t think we really were designed with the constitution for Time Travel.
      Again, a warm welcome and I hope you’ll drop in and share your thoughts from time to time. That would be a gift. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I have the tent stakes back in hand and I’m going to put them into the now! Great principle that sounds so simple and is so difficult… I knew a guy who ended all his AA table comments with, “Stay where your hands are”. It took a few years to even have a clue what he’s alluding to!

    I like the way you wrote this post. I wish I could master the concept. I think it is the secret to being content in all situations. Phil 4:11

  4. Love this Debbie. If I am not available – I will not hear.

    I lost my subscription – probably when you changed your site. I am back. Thanks again! I’d love for you to write a guest blog for my site – if you accept guest bloggers – I would be happy to write something for you. I know it has to be new material for my site – but you are so good at it. I’d love to share with my community. Jan

    1. Jan!
      How fun to see you again!
      My internet it so hit and miss that I can’t predict when I can “connect”.
      Writing together sounds like great fun!
      Let me know more about what you’re thinking (branson.debbie@gmail.com)

  5. Goooose Bumps!
    but it is in this moment that He speaks. If Iโ€™m not here, I wonโ€™t hear.
    Thank you for the reminder to this Time Traveler
    God Bless

    1. Susie, my sweet fellow traveler,
      The mind is certainly a place we can get lost in, isn’t it?
      Thank you for your steady encouragement to live in the light of His grace.

  6. Thank you for helping me stay right where I am today, gracious one . ..with Him and those He has around me. I don’t want to waste a minute traveling away from what He wants me to hear and where He wants me to be right now. God bless you as you travel in real time, closer to Him! love and prayers – the other deb

    1. Deb –
      Thank you for being my traveling companion. Staying truly present in the moment can be hit and miss for me but I’m beginning to grasp how essential it is to both peace and growth.
      My love and prayers are with you as well,

  7. Pinpointing the exact purposes of memory and imagination — for GOOD! Not for bad. Even bad memories should serve us in good way, teaching us to do better in the future, and in our imaginings of the future. Amazing insight, here. Thanks.

  8. Oh Wow, Debbie–my heart leaps with these words. Initially, my thought was, “I WISH I had a watch that would lose all my “lost” years!!” But then I realized that God has “reset” my watch perfectly. Yes, He’s here and now–we don’t need to go searching in the past or the future, for Him. Though He Was, Is, and Always Will Be–I feel/see His open arms in Today. God bless you Big–love, sis Caddo

    1. Beautifully put, Caddo.
      God is timeless.
      We, on the other hand, are still bound by time.
      That makes THIS moment THE moment.
      Love and grace to you, my friend,

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