“Turn the clock back- Not on your life — it’s been hard enough gettingwhere I am.” Besides, turning the clock back usually means losing all thegains that progress has brought about in our lives.
But isn’t there another meaning for the phrase — Have you not wished attimes that you could erase the wrinkles that time and anxiety have made in yourforehead? Haven’t you wished that you could be INNOCENT AGAIN AS YOU WERE INPRIMARY SCHOOL? Don’t we often wish we could look at things as freshly as weused to? Free from some of our cynical, twisted preconceptions? The ulteriormotives and suspicions that spoil our attitude to others?
Don’t we especially wish that we could turn the clock back on some of thephysical and mental habits that chain us to the past and prevent us doing whatwe know we ought? How many of us wish we could shed our procrastination, ourindecisiveness, our inferiority complex, our financial worries, our physicaladdictions? But all of these have been built “brick-by-brick” overyears of wrong choices — they are the part of our past that is present with usday after day. “If only we could turn the clock back on the character wehave become!”
The best that we can do with our COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOLOGY is — “let’spretend that we have turned the clock back”. So we try to manipulate theway we look at the past. We try to rationalize our actions and experiences. Weat times try to sever the cord that ties our memory to our consciousness. Butsomehow these excursions into our unconscious don’t produce permanent results.We wish that there was some way to actually turn the clock back — to unlive thepast — so that our present character was free to begin again. What a relief itwould be if we could now (given our experience) begin life again!
Time and Eternity
Our Creator knew we would end up in this position. It was necessary if wewere to have free wills. We had to have the opportunity to see the fullout-working of choosing to put ourselves first. But there had to be some way toenable us to return to “square 1” — to erase the past’s effects onour present personality! Choosing right means nothing unless its consequencescompletely replace the consequences of choosing wrong.
Turning the clock back is what happened in 29 A.D. on a cross outsideJerusalem when Jesus of Nazareth was executed. Time-wise, this was just thecrucifixion of another would-be national messiah who would deliver the Jews fromRoman oppression. Eternity-wise, this was the historical expression of theDESTRUCTION OF THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE (as it had become) and its complete renewaland resurrection in the timeless-spacelessness of eternity.
That’s why our Creator prompted Paul to write things like — “If withChrist you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as ifyou still belonged to the world?” “For you have died and your life ishid with Christ in God” -“We were buried therefore with him by baptisminto death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of theFather, we too might walk in newness of life” — “We know that our oldself was crucified with him” (Colossians 2:20; 3:3; Romans 6:4,6).
This Jesus Christ was “slain from before the foundation of the world”(Revelation 13:8) — “He was destined before the foundation of the worldbut was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake” (1 Peter1:20). As Stephen Hawking writes in his Brief History of Time, “the theoryof relativity gets rid of absolute time — just as one cannot talk about eventsin the universe without the notions of space and time, so in general relativityit became meaningless to talk about space and time outside the limits of theuniverse” (Ibid p.33). As is shown by the “twins” example of onetwin aging faster on earth than the other would out in space, there is a “place”where time is one ever-present moment. Thus our Creator did not simply turn backthe clock in Jesus’ death — He eliminated it.
How do we Turn the Clock Back?
Simply by believing reality — the Creator has eliminated the clock. Becauseof his work on us in Christ, we have been changed — that is reality. And thatchange is effective now — the tracks your past left in you have been erased. Itis as if it never happened! Adopt that attitude now. Look up to your Creatorthis moment for the original spirit he put into you to guide the development ofyour life.
Air fills your lungs as soon as you breathe. Reality breaks in upon you assoon as you act in accordance with it. Inferiority complex, weakness for drugs?”The old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians5:17).
Stop pretending any longer. Live now in reality.