I have always desired to go back in time and live my life over again. I’ve concocted stories about being sent back in time, as have so many other people.
But I realized something.
Besides the fact that it’s not going to magically just happen because I wished on a star or prayed really, really hard.
I realized that it has probably already happened!
One of the stories I’ve written follows a young man who somehow goes back in time and becomes a mentor for his younger self. He helps him along and gives him advice. Eventually the older version has to leave.
It’s a work in progress, though. I don’t know how it should end.
Either the older version realizes the things he’s doing for his younger self were all things some mysterious figure did for him when he was a kid…. Or the older version literally disappears because he has changed the past so much that he no longer exists.
Or the universe implodes.
Either way there’s not much of a possibility that story could actually take place. Science is pretty sure it’s impossible to travel back in time, what with temporal feedback loops and all.
Another story I’ve written involves a young man who is discontent with how his life has turned out; even though he’s only just began college. He takes off in his car to run away from his life. He breaks down on the side of the road. It’s dark. It’s raining. He sees a semi truck barreling towards him, sliding back and forth across the road. He cannot get out of the driver’s side door. He grabs his backpack and heads for the passenger door. He gets stuck on a seat belt. He pulls and pulls and eventually breaks free, jumping out of the car right as the semi slams into the car. He falls down a hill and just as he rolls into a tree the lightening flashes. CRACK! He sits up in his bed… was it all a dream? Is he home? Did he actually go back… in time?
Sorry for being so dramatic. It sounds like a nice story. A person becomes a kid again, going back to that point in time as well. With the knowledge of the future he can surely make better decisions, right? He can live the life he actually wanted to live… right?
Well, in my story the kid makes some dumb decisions. He tries to be “cool” with everything and, by way of a vision, sees his future involves some bad habits. He changes again, but this time back to who he was. He’s just a little more content with who he is. He realizes that he actually had a good life. He just didn’t realize it.
But that’s just a story.
Or is it?
What if you prayed really, really, really, really hard! And God was like, “fine, I’ll send you back in time to relive your life. It’s not like there are orphans for you feed or the homeless that need sheltering. Let’s give you a do-over because you don’t have enough money to buy video games…”
And you’re like, “thanks buddy!”
In reality we’ll never know if this has happened, but what if it did. It’s just that God knows he can’t very well let you have knowledge of the future (that being the events you’ve actually grown through already). If you had this knowledge you’d definitely change, and not necessarily for the better. You might be arrested because you knew something bad was going to happen. Or you might go crazy knowing about all of these terrible things that would kill so many innocent people. Or you might just live your life being quiet about it all, but know in your mind all the bad things that were going to happen. You might just waste away your life doing nothing but having fun and spending money, or simply hanging out with people, having no real purpose for your life other than to enjoy everything. And as was previously mentioned, there are people out there who could use your help. If you literally had the attitude of “YOLO” how much good could you possibly be doing?
God knows you can’t have knowledge of the future. So he sends you back in time to “try again” without this knowledge.
So, ya, you may have been given a second chance. But you’ll never know.
Or will you?
[he asks too many questions, doesn’t he?]
You know how you’re trying to make a decision about something and things just don’t feel right? What if that’s a decision you made before going back in time and while the historical record of events that will happen in the world are lost to you, you still retain the general “gut feeling” about those events. Should you purchase this car? Gut says “no”… or rather, your memory of having purchased this car was a bad memory, but you can’t just have the memory because that would fall under “having knowledge of the future” which God specifically has not granted you even though he did actually send you back in time, so you choose not to purchase the car.
I know, I know: this could literally be a gut feeling. You could also call it “conscience” if the decision involves whether to do something good or bad. You could also point to the fact that the Hindu religion believes in reincarnation. But I don’t, so maybe this whole idea is just bonkers.
It’s fun to do little thought experiments like this. But in the end we have to realize what’s really important.
P.S. – I’m going to a birthday party today. So right now, cake is important.
P.P.S. – God is important, too. Or rather: God is important, and cake is also important. To me, at least.