I Finally Understand Time Travel
Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this. Revelation 4:1
A couple days ago, I woke up absolutely convinced that I understood time travel. In the dream from which I’d just awakened, my wife from three days in the future used a time machine to travel back to the present to help me find my sweatpants. It was an absurd, jumbled dream, yet when I awoke, I had this profound feeling of epiphany – I finally understood time travel. After the sleep cleared from my head, I realized I had no epiphany. All I had was a strange dream that didn’t make any sense. Describing it later to my wife didn’t make it any less bizarre.
I relay that story only to say that I get a similar sense when reading the next several chapters of Revelation. In the first three chapters, Jesus provided letters of instruction to the seven churches. This made sense and was of practical use to me. I’m not so sure how I feel about the upcoming chapters though. The rest of Revelation reads like a dream of which I’m standing on the edge, with a sense of something important, but which also lies beyond my comprehension.
John saw things he’d never seen, thing that haven’t happened yet, and things he probably didn’t comprehend. Then, he tried to describe his vision to us. In today’s passage, he looked up, saw a door into heaven, and was called through it to stand before God’s throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald (Revelation 4:3).
I don’t know what that means, which bothers me. I can read a commentary on jasper and carnelian, but it still feels like I’m listening to someone struggling to describe a bizarre dream. I believe it has some importance, but I’m still working on what that importance may be. Prophecy is, by nature, difficult to understand as it speaks of things that often only make sense after they’ve happened.
What then, is the point? Why even read Revelation? To me, it is a reminder that things will not always remain as they are. I may not live to see the end of the world, but my time on Earth will come to an end. This perspective causes me to evaluate the purpose of my life. Why am I here? I may not completely understand the book of Revelation and I may not ever grasp time travel, but I can and should consider the deeper questions of existence and purpose. Am I comfortable meeting God with the life I’ve lived? Today, and every day, I should live with eternity in mind, seeking the new life for which I was created.