If you could send an text message back ten years to yourself, what would write? This question has been roaming my head for a couple days now. At first, I gave myself an easy answer, something like: “don’t worry, I haven’t betrayed your dreams yet. Just keep fighting on.” And that’s when it hit me: maybe I could tell myself a life shortcut, something that would alter my personal story.
Just in case you were wondering, I got the idea from Steins;Gate, an anime about time traveling. It follows a group of friends who turn their microwave into a device that can send text messages to the past. In doing so, they alter time lines, and thus changing drastically their present. The reason I bring this show up is because a frequent theme in Steins;Gate is the relation between present actions and future consequences. In fact the main character, Okabe Rintarou, undergoes a deep maturation as he is faced with the consequences of his messages.
Time travel is a recurrent theme in books and movies. Fantasy seems to have a fixation with distorting history. I guess this fixation comes not so much from time traveling itself, but rather with a wish to control history, that is, to assure that our actions will have the consequences we want them to have. Unfortunately, this will remain fantasy.
One thing is sure: life is short and time runs fast; at the end there will be no rewind. As Saint James writes in his letter: “you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James, 4, 14) This should not scare us. Actually I think it’s very healthy to remember as often as possible that we walk on this earth as pilgrims, that our final destiny awaits us after death. That is why each moment, each decision matters, because it has a consequence in eternity.
I do not mean to live in fear of damnation; that would just make life miserable. Instead, this attitude will make us live in such a way, that we will be proud of the consequences of our actions. I guess it is good that nobody can send texts back in time. If I could though, I’d still write: “Don’t worry, I have not betrayed your effort to reach Heaven. Keep on fighting …”