When I was about 10, I learned that an object going faster than the speed of light would travel backward in time. And I thought, Maybe if I travel just a bit slower than the speed of light I can go forward in time. Or something like that. So it was that I constructed my very first time machine by removing the mud flaps from my brother’s three-speed bicycle—for aerodynamics—and pushing it to the top of the highest hill on Canada’s western prairies. I secured a small hockey helmet to my pointy head. I affixed my sister’s pink-rimmed sunglasses to my face, and pedaled like a gopher with his tail on fire. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that instead of traveling through time, I traveled about a quarter mile at 189 mph and found myself in the ditch.


I remember very little about the rest of that day, except that a blurry looking nurse asked me the “Cause of accident.” I said, “Time travel experiment,” but I think she wrote down words like, “reckless,” “irresponsible,” and “forget about his arm, let’s exam his head.” Did you ever want your own time machine? Where would you go? Would you set it for 1974, zip over to Albuquerque, get to know Billy Gates, and scoop up controlling interest in Microsoft? Would you travel back to that time in high school when your friends dared you to eat four burritos in one sitting and you said those regrettable words, “Why not?”


I asked a friend where he would go if he had a time machine. I was unprepared for his answer. He said, “I’d travel back about eight years and say sorry to my wife.” Maybe you can relate. So many of us carry regrets.In the airport the other day a flight attendant asked, “Would you like to check your baggage?” and I laughed. “Yeah, I’ve got some baggage I’d like to check.” He knew exactly what I meant.


Wouldn’t today be a good day to take those bags to the foot of a cross? Listen to the liberating words of 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Were sweeter words ever spoken?


I love the old song, “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.” If you’ve asked God to forgive you, He will, and you won’t get what you deserve. You’ll get grace. Simply accept that gift, and say goodbye to regret. God is the only one who can redeem our past. Let’s let Him. Who needs a time machine?

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