Recently I was flabbergasted to learn that there’s such a thing as a time machine that works! And believe me, at my age I need one. It all started a few weeks ago when my husband Gordon opened the wrong attachment to an email and his laptop got taken over by a big ugly pop-up message that cried “Threat Warning!” in big red letters. It proclaimed that his computer was infected with nasty sounding viruses and the cure was to click through to a website and pay to get rid of them. This message continuously popped up and smacked Gordon in the eyes with repeated warnings meant to instill fear of cyber mayhem. I could hear his cries of aggravation clear from the other room.
This went on for three weeks. Finally our 19 year old son John arrived home from college and came to the rescue. He sat in front of the TV with Gordon’s computer on his lap and fiddled around a while. “Done,” John said. And the mean pop-up virus was gone.
“How on earth did you do that?” I asked John in amazement.
“Simple. I asked Dad when he first started having the problem, then I went back a few days before that and used the restore function to get the whole system to the way it was before the virus.”
“You can do that?” I asked incredulously.
“Yep,” he said, “On an Apple they call it time machine.”
I was dumbstruck. Finally someone had actually invented a time machine that can restore things back to the way they used to be. Not only is it an electronic version of the Fountain of Youth where you can go back to an earlier time, but it also erases any mistakes you made in the meantime and everything is back in order like you never messed up at all. What good news. Of course the bad news is that this time machine only works in cyberspace, not in real life.
Actually, a long time ago God invented the “restore function” when Jesus came down to earth. The most time defying thing that every happened in history was the resurrection of Jesus after He had been dead and buried for three days. Because of that great miracle, each day we can experience small but meaningful restorations. Maybe they won’t erase our wrinkles or make those angry words we said yesterday disappear, but our lives can still be renewed and rejuvenated. Words that start with the prefix re (meaning “to do again”) offer an array of divine possibilities for time travel. Repentance. Reconciliation. Redemption. Recommitment. Reconsideration. Restitution. Rebirth. And that’s the best news I’ve ever heard.