Recently I dreamt that God gave me a gift. It was a magic arrow of time. It came with the bow too. He then knighted me the archer of time. Not of all time of course or everybody’s time, but just my own time. It was an extraordinary gift because now I have full control of my time. I could live my life as and when I wanted it - even over and over again. I now have the privilege to be selective about time, to live any period of time and for as long as I wished.
It was something like the groundhog day starring Bill Murray but Bill had none of what God had given me quite exclusively and that is control. Unlike him, I was not stuck or condemned to live a day over and over again. I was free to design my time in any way I wish, that is, I could live a day or a week or a month, even repeatedly.
Needlessly to say, I was thrilled with the gift. I thanked God for it, profusely. But then, a moment’s pause told me to ask God where this arrow of time was ultimately headed to. He replied that each arrow represents a life and they are each headed to the end of life on earth. It is how an arrow is designed. It is programmed to hit the bull’s eye of physical death. Seen in this way, it is more an arrow of mortality than time.
Then, God took me to a vantage point, away from the many arrows that were passing us by, and showed me the different events that each arrow would have to pass before arriving at their own end. And I saw everything. I saw many arrows going in one direction. I also saw many arrows travelling in pairs and I asked God about them. He told me that the arrows represented kindled souls, that is, married couples whose lives were intertwined. The proximity of two arrows, God said, shows how close two lives are.
There were even arrows that travelled in packs and God told me they represented families, close-knit ones. Then, God asked me to look closer and I saw almost every events that the arrows went by. Some events were landmark events for a life like birth, graduation, adulthood, first job, marriage, first child, promotion, anniversaries, and old age. They were events that called for festivities and celebration.
However, as in life and death, joy and sorrow, there were other events that were less fortuitous like divorces, failures, bankruptcies, betrayals, cancers and early death of loved ones These were events that left indelible scars in a life and each arrow silently and swiftly cuts through them, minding its own business, while proceeding straight towards its destined end.
What I also noticed was that some arrows had a short travel path. They reached their end before their time so to speak. Somehow, I saw birth, graduation and marriage and then something happened – something heartrending, even dreadful - and the arrow of time came to an end. Others experienced almost the same event, heartbreaking ones that is, and their arrow somehow slowed down. Time slowed down for them. It was still heading towards the end but it just took longer and was uneventful. That is, I saw no events thereafter – no landmark events, no celebrative ones. Although the arrow moved forward, it was moving forward silently and alone, and almost in cold and slow motion.
Yet, there were other arrows that did not follow the same flight path as those I had mentioned above. They no doubt confronted the same dreadful events, and although they suffered some velocity loss, they fought back. They sharpened their tip, their focus, and they pressed forward. Soon, they regained back their speed and with that, their life. Before long, celebrative events returned and other arrows – the kindled souls - joined them in the same flight path and rejoiced together to their desired end.
After marveling at all that, and it was a thoroughly enlightening sight for me, I turned to God and asked Him about the purpose of the magic arrow he had given me. Strangely, God did not answer me. He was quiet. I don’t know whether He’d heard me or not. But before I knew it, the show was over. The divine visitation came to an end. God took His leave and disappeared. He was gone.
After that, I took the gift with me and returned to my life as I had lived it before the strange visitation. It was at this time that my dream became more vague, more dreamy. I can’t recall the details but I recalled I experienced many events in my life thereafter. Most of them were happy ones, celebrative events. But then, something happened along the path that my arrow was travelling. Something dreadful. Something that emotionally and physically crippled me. I can’t remember what it was but it was bad, irreversible. And I knew then that I could never recover from it. I knew I was finished, that is, life was as good as it had ended for me.
Well, at least that was what I thought until my mind turned to the magic arrow. Hey, nothing is ever irreversible for me, not me! God has made time an exception for me! I could stop time, there and then, by grabbing the travelling arrow, insert it in my bow and shoot it back from where it came from. And I did all that. I did it with resuscitated hope. I did it with trembling anticipation. I did it because I wanted to do it all over again.
When I let go of the arrow, time magically reversed. God was true to His word. All events came unraveling before my eyes. They unfolded, deconstructed, devolved all by themselves. And I was happily running backward with it. With every step, I came closer to that dreadful event that had completely crippled me before. I then smirked at it as I passed it by. Surprisingly, it had no hold over me, none whatsoever. I felt so relieved, so free. I continued to run back, making sure I had covered enough distance from it.
After - or in this case, way before that crippling event – I grabbed back the speeding arrow and time stood still once again. Everything in my life – the people, the events – all froze. I then estimatd the distance from where I stood to that event that I can’t live through again and confirmed that it was safe before I reinserted the arrow back into my bow and fired it off – this time in the forward direction. I had to do this – shoot it forward - because I can’t live my life in freeze-frame. Inactivity is as hellish as apathy for me.
As my arrow advanced and took its normal course, I was so glad to be reliving my life with my loved ones, enjoying their company once again. Although I relived the celebrative events with a feeling of déjà vu, I was thrilled that I could do it all over again with them. It was a second helping of savoring life that was pure chicken soup for my soul.
Reliving had its advantages of course. Essentially, I could recalibrate my thoughts, my speech and my actions until everything fits just right. I could polish the rough edges of my character and present a better, much better, me. However, I also knew that every day past would only mean that I would have to confront that dark event of my life sooner or later. I can’t escape from it. It was already written in my life-trajectory. It was my lot in life. Strangely, that was the one thing I can’t change, that is, the arrow of another travelling with me. I can’t change their life-path. I can’t control their destiny.
So, on the eve of that day, that fateful day, I grabbed the arrow for the second time, reinserted it in my bow, turned the other way, and released it. My arrow went back as planned. This time I ran with it for further than before. I allowed it to travel further back in time, in my life. Once I found the goldilocks of time-zone or safe-zone, I grabbed back the arrow, turned around – facing forward - and let it go. The methodology of manipulating time was just so effortless for me. I was really getting the hang of it.
In my dream, I couldn’t remember how many times I did this. In fact, I lost count. I relived my life over and over again, that is, my life before that event I was avoiding. I rewind time, and relived the same familiar life for what seems like ages. I did all this just because I can’t imagine life after that dreadful event. I can’t see how I could ever. I could not let the pain and the sorrow go.
But the logic for me is frustrating, almost perverse. You see, it appeared that I needed to reach for that magic arrow God had given me in order to avoid living the life He had planned for me, the whole nine yards of it, that is, to its destined end. But at that time, after many vertiginous ride back in time, I was too confused to think straight. I just refused to see it His way.
I then recalled God appearing before me at this time. He materialized just when I was about to release the arrow in the backward direction for the umpteenth time. He gently held my hands and told me to trust Him. He assured me that he had a plan for me. It was a better plan if I trust Him enough to let go. I was actually not really convinced because I can’t see how my life would be better after that dreadful event. I can’t see how it would change for the better. In other words, I can’t allow my arrow to travel past that event. But God insisted. He told me to believe that everything happened for a purpose. He told me that I can’t relive my past so as to avoid my future. He told me that if I don’t face my present, I would have burnt all bridge that would carry me over to a future that awaits, a future he had planned for me.
I broke down at this time and dropped the bow and arrow. I told Him I do not have the strength. I told Him I do not see any hope. But God did not let me go. He picked up my bow and arrow. He whispered something in my ear and took me by the hand. Together, we held the bow and arrow. I was not releasing the arrow all by myself this time. Together, we faced the other direction, the direction that would bring me forward in life. I felt a certain surge of confidence. And together, we slowly released the arrow…
Just before the arrow left the bow, the words God whispered into my ear rang deep in my spirit and echoed through the chambers of time: “It is different this time…I am with you son, always.” Cheerz.