Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of faith is to see what you believe.
Space and time are properties of this world alone. As C.S. Lewis explains, our life comes to us one moment at a time. We can’t go back and repeat moments in this life because we’re bound by time. Outside of the world, however, each moment exists on a continuum and so all moments can be seen from one vantage point. That’s why, as Lewis goes on to explain, God has infinity to listen to each moment as every moment is always the present for Him.
But how many of us have prayed on the idea of repeating a moment that changed everything…or in the case of my many, many mistakes…moments?
Because there are times it’s almost intolerable to believe in space and time.
As if it’s possible they don’t always exist.
Perhaps there are exceptions? Maybe…just maybe…if you recreate a moment, you can step into a parallel universe? Aren’t we told anything is possible?
There’s this old country road I take to pick up my kids when they’re at my ex’s family farm. Nothing has changed on that road in 20 years and when I’m driving past those old farms with the windows down I’m tempted with the notion that it could very easily be 2001 or 2007….rather than the present. There’s no physical proof to the contrary, unless of course you stop the car and let reality slap you in face.
One of the biggest hurdles in healing from divorce is repeating the events of the marriage back over and over and over again. It’s easy to get caught up in the chronological nightmare of sequential cause and effect that floods your brain after your life implodes. But if you step far enough back from the chronology, you realize that the result would likely have been the same if x came before c.
Perhaps reality lives more in the two individuals who couldn’t become one.
And if you could just type into a search engine all of the details you wish you knew and somehow reveal where it all went wrong, your top search result would just yield two imperfect people.
I couldn’t heal from my divorce because I refused to live in the present. I obsessed over every detail of our past…what went wrong and what I could’ve or should’ve done differently. And I had intolerable anxiety over the future. There are massive periods of that time that I don’t remember at all because there was not a single part of my brain devoted to living in the now.
And I missed a lot of firsts…and everyday moments… in the lives of my kids.
In The Screwtape Letters, Lewis takes us into a fictional story told from the devil’s perspective. Screwtape is a demon attempting to coach his nephew, Wormwood, on how to exploit human nature. He goes into great detail on the value of keeping people from living in the present.
Lewis says “The Present is the point at which time touches eternity.”
It is in the present only where we’re given a taste of reality for God. The future, he goes on to explain, is the least like eternity because the future never in fact actually exists at all. The only things we ever experience are the moments that become the present. The other 6,748 things you waste your present worrying on never actually come to fruition.
So yeah there may be no parallel universe to run back to and fix all of the things you made a total mess of in this life. And that may be a devastatingly hard pill to swallow.
But this I know for sure.
Healing from Divorce = Pain
If you try to escape or numb or run from the pain, it only delays the healing.
And the only path to happiness is to live in the present…to take the present in whatever form its being given and sit with it.
And yeah there’s a tremendous feeling of powerlessness in that. Because we think if we just analyze our life from about 27 different angles we can somehow change reality or trick God into changing our story.
The best we can do is to pray for God to change our hearts to accept the story we’ve been given.