The stars roll around the heavens, the earth turns as it circles the sun. The universe moves inevitably toward its destiny. Perhaps it will expand forever until it is cold and empty. Or it might crash back onto itself only to explode again in unimaginable violence. Perhaps there is an infinite number of parallel universes where each choice we make branches into a new reality. And still, time moves on. Einstein said that time and space are intertwined, that time slows down as you approach the speed of light. I have heard that our concept of time doesn't exist at all and is only the invention of man, that everything that will ever happen has already taken place. I am fascinated and awed by these ideas and by the idea of time travel. I remember reading in a comic book about Superman flying around the earth so fast that time turned backwards.
I also remember clearly when I first saw the movie "Back to the Future". It was 1991 because I was about to attend my 25 year high school reunion. I loved all the twists and turns that travelling back in time created. I remember near the end when the hero was leaving and the girl who was to be his mother said to herself, "Marty - that's a nice name." And so, he was named after himself. I remember taking a long walk after the movie thinking about time travel and my upcoming high school reunion. I wished I could know the future.
Well, I've done a little time traveling since then. Forward, which is the only way we know for sure that time can flow. It has been almost 20 years since I took that walk. I went through a painful divorce, I had to change my career, my children grew up, my mother died. I wonder what I might have done differently if I could have seen the future that day.
Well, I wish I would have made some different career choices, I wish I hadn't chosen to refinance my house. The main thing I wish is that I was kinder, more patient with my mother and my children, more accepting of other people and their choices - even if I didn't understand those choices. I would focus more on my own life and the options I had control over and less on trying to make other people change to meet my expectations. This sounds a lot like the Serenity Prayer.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Guess what? I had no idea where this post was going when I started!