I enjoy movies and TV shows where time travel allows people to go back and change the past. The idea of going back in time to change or correct the past has always appealed to me, because when the past is changed it also changes the future. History is changed: some never live who would have lived otherwise, and others who before met untimely early deaths, now live. The changes are not always predictable.
Think how our world might be different if an Adolph Hitler never lived—or for that matter, a Winston Churchill never lived. What if Jonas Salk had never lived to create his polio vaccine?
The song, “What was I meant to be?” deals with this issue. In the song, aborted children around the throne of God ask Him, “What was I meant to be?” before they were killed by abortion. Perhaps there was another Marshall Keeble to share the gospel, or another Jonas Salk to cure cancer. Surely those millions of children were meant to be something. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). How the world would have been different, for the worse, if Jeremiah’s mother had aborted him!
Although the only time we have is the present, we must realize that our present is quickly becoming the past, and our past/present changes the future, for good or bad.
John 4 describes Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well outside the Samaritan village of Sychar. His discussion of the living water He wanted to give her, led to faith not only in her heart, but practically the whole village. They were so excited by what He taught that they begged Jesus to tarry, and he stayed two days with them. Think how different the future was for the people of that village. Luke tells of an incident at another Samaritan village, “And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.” James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them, but Jesus rebuked them, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village” (Luke 9:53, 56). Think how the future of that village did not change.
My choices today of what I do, and what I do not do, has a tremendous effect on my future. “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (2 Corinthians 5:10, 12).