Friday, October 31, 2014

Time travel

Where would you go if you could travel through time? Would you go backward or forward, and how far? Perhaps you'd be an observer at a famous moment in history, or maybe stop yourself making a specific mistake. Maybe you'd travel to the future to pick up next week's winning lottery numbers or horse racing results?
"Where would you go if you could travel through time?"
If you're a fan of the 1980s Back To The Future films, you'll know that in the second film Marty and Doc travel forward to 2015! I've seen screenshots from the film doing the rounds on social media recently with what they imagined we'd all be wearing: lots of silver, and global hyper-colour type baseball caps. Maybe the futuristic fashion they imagined was a little off the mark, but not everything imagined in the film is unrealistic - recent news shows that hoverboards are closer than we think.
Chasing after a light beam?

Other science fiction futures have come and gone. Arthur C Clarke's future vision in the award winning film 2001 is an obvious one. We may not have had a manned mission to Jupiter yet, as he imagined we would have done by 2001, but many of the details in the various futures he imagined in his writing have come to pass - electronic newspapers for example, and GPS. He was called by some "The Prophet of the Space Age". 

I don't mind confessing that I'm a fan of science fiction. Although I've not read so much in recent years,  I enjoy imagining different futures - whether aeons into the future or closer to home. Actually I also enjoy historical novels and fantasy too, so I'm a bit of a time traveller when it comes to fiction (although don't mention The Time Traveller's Wife - I have never cried so much at the end of a book - gosh). 

One of my top five themes from the Strengths Finder assessment is "Futuristic" - I think this explains my attraction to sci-fi, as it appeals to that futuristic streak in me: "People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future".

What vision or future do you imagine for yourself? 

It can be hard to think and dream ahead when we get so wrapped up with the demands of the "now". With young kids, broken nights' sleep and a demanding day job I've sometimes found the days and weeks begin to blur and those yearly landmarks of holidays, birthdays and seasons seem to come around quicker and quicker. 

How can we carve out time to look ahead and not just dream a future, but take actions to step into it? Can we imagine ourselves into our dreams?

"What vision or future do you imagine for yourself?"
Watching a Brian Cox documentary about the Universe this week it struck me that whilst astrophysics is undoubtedly a complex and intricate science, some of the greatest theories and breakthroughs came from an almost childlike imagination - stories of Einstein imaging chasing after a beam of light for example. 

I wonder if we can overcomplicate the futures we imagine for ourselves and somehow keep them out of reach. Instead would it be better to be more childlike and simple in some of our dreams, to bring them closer to our "now"?

This isn't to say that we shouldn't dream big or imagine fantastic futures, but that without action to propel us in that direction - without a vector - they may remain unreal, like the clothes imagined in 2015 by Back to the Future. 

Maybe we should think of our dreams like hoverboards - a future vision which became a self fulfilling prophecy. A dream which inspired someone to turn into reality. The thing about vectors, in a mathematical sense, is that they have both size and direction - they're moving. 

It's all very well to have a big dream, but without a direction towards it then it's not going to go anywhere. Conversely, in the blur of the daily grind we can have too much movement and not enough vision. When this happens we're in danger of ending up somewhere we don't want to be. Trapped by the busyness of the everyday. As Socrates said "Beware the barrenness of a busy life"

From a perspective of faith, it's important that we catch onto the vision for our life that God has - usually a much broader, fulfilling and more exciting vision than our own. To do this takes time to listen to God but a good starting point is the things we're gifted with and passionate about.

Setting our vector in the direction God sets may require bravery, but it will ultimately lead to a richer and deeper place. It's important to pray round the dreams and gifts God gives you, and I'd highly recommend Mark Batterson's The Circle Maker on this topic.
"Maybe we should think of our dreams like hoverboards.."
What are the hoverboards in your life that you're imagining in the future? And on what vector are you going to travel through time to get there? We may not have time machines (yet), but we can dream, pray and take steps towards our future vision. For some practical thoughts about carving out time to create a future you don't want to escape from, check out these thoughts from Jonathan Milligan.

It may not work out exactly as we expect, but better to stay child-like and enjoy the journey, than travel at warp speed through the blur of the "now" and fill our future with regrets. 

What are you dreaming of in the future?

Thanks for taking the time to read Time Travel. If you've enjoyed it please share it with your friends on social media! Why not subscribe to The Potting Shed Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for expanded musings and much more (direct RSS feed is here). 

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My Random Musings


Random Musings said...

I like the theory of time travel, but in reality I quite like living in the here and now. It can be easy to inadvertently wish your life away by always looking to the future, although I think dreams and hopes are essential to motivate in the here and now.
Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

Luke Strickland said...

It's true that we can be distracted by the future (or the past) that we miss out on the here and now - appreciate you commenting and hosting the #AnythingGoes linky!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed that Luke. Love this line - It may not work out exactly as we expect, but better to stay child-like and enjoy the journey, than travel at warp speed through the blur of the "now" and fill our future with regrets.
Thanks for linking up #bigfatlinky

Luke Strickland said...

Thanks Al, glad it connected and thanks for hosting the #bigfatlinky, see you next time