Everyone it seems at times looks for ways to turn back the clock in their lives. In a sense, they are on a quest for more time. Yet we can never build our own personal time machine to go back and change a conversation, to extend our goodbyes to a friend or a relative we'll never see again, to take back words that did too much damage in their time, or to fix our parenting mistakes. Fixing such issues would probably create a host of paradoxes anyway, and who knows, if you fixed the original situation, a new problem might crop up in its place.
Why aren't more people happy with their age or with the time they have been given? Why do some people turn to the bottle, or pills, or surgery as a way of keeping the past alive?
Our lives seemed to be filled with quests. Quests for more time, money, a better life, more friends, etc. Yet the time one seems to be the most puzzling one considering that in some respects, it's the one element we have the least control over. Once it is gone, you can't get it back, and unlike the sands in an hourglass, you can't just flip things over and start again.
Maybe some of this quest has to do with this verse from Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV - 1984) which reads:
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."The first half of chapter three of Ecclesiastes deals with time, and yet there is this curious line about "setting eternity in our hearts". It's as if God has put a quest or in our hearts to seek out the immortal, the timeless, or to see things from an eternal perspective. At the same time, we do not have the capacity to see everything from beginning to end, much less comprehend it. In other words, it's a quest that never ends!
We know our lives are finite. We know there will come a day when our creations, dreams, hopes, and plans will be replaced by another generation. Yet God freely offers a free transit pass to eternity—or, to put it another way, a free ticket to the New Jerusalem. Maybe this is a big stretch, but perhaps the New Jerusalem is not only a city, but also some kind of creation capable of time travel...an ultimate time machine of sorts since it appears over the earth one day and descends from the clouds. Whatever the case, it will be 1,400 x 1,400 x 1,400 miles across, which means it's also likely either a giant cube or one very big pyramid (see Revelation 21).
Despite all this knowledge of the future, some still do not trust in its validity. Others do not want to part with the lives they've built or see any use for a ticket to eternity. Yet when the end of their individual timeline comes, then what? The quest is still there, unfufilled, and now maybe accompanied by a sense of remorse or perhaps bitterness. There is still time to change that, of course, if the person is willing.
Until then, however, as the inscription on many a clock reads...tempus fugit.