In Others’ Words: We All Have Time Machines …

Time Machines 2016

The idea of time machines captures the imaginations of children and adults alike. 

How enticing to have the chance to go visit times past and interact with history or visit times-yet-to-be and help make history.

I’ve always thought it would have been an exciting adventure to be one of the American pioneers heading west in a wagon train. Yet given the chance, would I enter a time machine and punch in mid-to late 1800s and experience the reality of that life? What about Regency England? Or maybe close my eyes and let someone else program a date in the future? No, I’ve always been more intrigued by the past than the future.

And yet, H.G. Wells states such a simple truth when he says we all have our our time machines. Memories and dreams are powerful things, aren’t they? Both are able to transport us to times and places hidden behind the veils of “the past” and “the future”. Both are able to satisfy particular longings in our hearts in a way nothing else can.

And memories — my memories, your memories — are all the more precious because they are real. Real people. Real events. And dreams? Just as precious because they are our hopes that we wrap up in hard work and determination and patience and prayer as we strive to make them come true.

In Your Words: if you had an actual time machine, would you set the dial for a trip to the future or to the past? Any specific destination? Which do you prefer: memories or dreams — or not to choose between the two?

[Tweet “In Others’ Words: We All Have Time Machines #InOthersWords #memories #dreams”] [Tweet “”We all have our time machines … Those that take us back are memories …And those that take us forward, are dreams. ” #HGWells #quotes”]


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  1. January 26, 2016, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    Ummm…neither memories nor dreams please…I’ll just stay in the present, thanks.

    In the end (and when you’re CLOSE to the end) both are dead-ends…because now is really all that’s granted. Time is like manna; we’re given a certain amount, we can’t store it, and if we don’t use it, it spoils.

    I read about the past, and about the future (through SF), but have no desire to be there. While I have been called one of the finest minds of fifteenth-century Japan, I wouldn’t ‘fit’ there. Musashi will just have to storm castles without me.

    What I want most of all is to be fully alive to the present, and to take full advantage of every opportunity it brings, and, with the grace of God, survive to see the next moment, the next day.

    • January 26, 2016, 1:11 pm   /  Reply

      I am thankful for every day I know you.
      And I kind of thought I knew your answer here … but was waiting for you to weigh in.
      Thank you for being part of the conversation.

  2. January 26, 2016, 8:47 am   /  Reply

    I love this quote by HG Wells. Memories are part of the fabric of who we are, so I value those. They also help, encourage, strengthen me during hard things in the present. Dreams are what keep me focused. I loved how you talked about dreams being wrapped up in hard work, determination, patience and prayer.

    If I was going to visit somewhere, I think it would be fascinating to visit Jane Austen’s England. Or Anne Shirley’s PEI. But in the end, I’m with Andrew. I’m thankful to be living in THIS time. And I’m learning to be fully present in each moment God gives.

    • January 26, 2016, 1:13 pm   /  Reply

      I think life is fully lived with a mixture of past, present and future. We are shaped by our past and fulfilled by our dreams — and we are shaped by the dreams that don’t come true, too. It’s a matter of not trading away the present for too much of either the past or the future.

  3. Fran Shaw
    January 27, 2016, 10:17 pm   /  Reply

    Hmmm…past, present or future? At first I thought past, because I love visiting historical sights and reading about historical figures and historical fiction. But actually LIVING without electricity and indoor plumbing? No thanks (ok, I’m a wimp…I admit it). No pest exterminators? No Advil? Perish the thought! Although I wouldn’t mind just one day with my babies again, to snuggle them and smell their sweet heads. The only future time travel that appeals to me is my heavenly home. So, I guess that means I agree with the others. I’ll take the present, thank you very much. But the memories are to be treasured, and I do. To reflect on God’s incredible goodness and faithfulness gives me joy and confidence that whatever the future in this life holds, He will carry me through.

    • January 27, 2016, 10:32 pm   /  Reply

      Fran:How fun to see you join the conversation! And I agree with you — I am thankful every day for my dishwasher and washer and dryer. But the chance to snuggle my babies again? Now that appeals to me, too.
      I think we are wise to cherish our memories and pursue our dreams, while appreciating right where we are today.

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