While I don't believe in time travel, it's a fascinating concept! The following is from February 23, 2006.
I love to read. Having time to do it is another matter. Years ago, I read one of the best books in my memory. In 1992, Harry Turtledove authored Guns Of The South, a novel of alternative history. The premise of Guns requires the reader to tolerate time travel. White separatists from South Africa go back to the time of the American Civil War, attempting to rearrange the future by manipulating the past. Arming the Confederacy with AK-47 rifles and knowledge of Union troop movements based on historian Bruce Catton's writings, the Afrikaners try to alter the outcome of the War Between The States. The men from the 21st century hope that if the South prevails, apartheid in Africa will not be overthrown. It is a fascinating concept. You have to suspend reality to swallow the story but it opens a Pandora's Box of possibilities. I had a birthday last week. My folks' gift to me was What Ifs? of American History, edited by Robert Cowley. What Ifs? is a collection of essays by historians who contemplate life in the United States IF key moments in American history had alternate outcomes. What if FDR had made overtures to Japan in November of 1941 and Pearl Harbor remained a peaceful Hawaiian paradise instead of a buzzword for war? What if John Kennedy had decided against a November trip to Dallas in 1963? What ifs can go on for eternity. Historians love getting the last word...but there is no last word. There will always be another thesis, angle, or twist to the accepted truth. All history is revisionism. Historians write and no one wants to keep reading the same spin on the same events that happened before any of us saw the light of day. It's a lucrative business!
Monday Night Football is no longer free. Starting this fall, the games ABC has carried since 1970 will move to ESPN. I don't remember specifics of any MNF games growing up but I remember the announcers: NFL great Frank Gifford, the loquacious Howard Cosell, and my favorite, former quarterback Dandy Don Meredith. Actually, I only recall one thing any of them said. Dandy Don verbalized it but I doubt the quote originated with him. It's not quite the Gettysburg Address but it has its own depth of meaning: "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas." That was life in a nutshell to the former Dallas Cowboy star. Truer words were never uttered by an athlete turned broadcaster. I laughed today, listening to a man prominent in Canadian hockey explaining why our Northern neighbors fell apart in the Olympics. This is word for word; "I'm not making excuses BUT..." We are tough on kids when they make excuses but adults are no better. "I would have accomplished this or that but the boss-teacher-coach-parent, etc. didn't like me. I could have made straight A's- played in the major leagues- married the homecoming queen- won American Idol if I had wanted to." We've all heard it. We've probably let something along those lines escape from our own vocal chords. Historians rewrite history; the rest of us do it with our own biographies. We feel better when we think how it might have been. Time we waste on that line of reasoning is time we could use to improve what lies ahead. Our future is moldable, our past is set in stone and baked in the oven. To the Christian, the future is Jesus and the past doesn't count. The long ago has been washed down the drain at Golgotha along with sins we wish had never been committed. What if someone could go back to the past and change our future? The simple explanation is that God did just that by making the sacrifice that would alter the eternal fate of his children. It was set in motion by Adam and Eve but we were involved in the master plan, too. Revelation 13 tells us that Jesus was ''slain from the creation of the world.'' I can't fathom God and his relationship to the clock but he acted at just the right time by sending his Son. That would make the story line of another great book. We call it the Bible.
Applicable quote of the day:
"I know where I'm going. I want to see where I've been."
Baseball legend Jimmy Piersall (explaining why he ran around the bases backwards on a home run following his release from an asylum)
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