I like Science Fiction. (I like Fantasy too, but this post is about Science Fiction.) I think Science Fiction is interesting because underneath the technological background it often deals with very spiritual themes of what it means to be human, where we came from, where we are going, how we relate to others, and search for meaning and for God. Science Fiction presents some very interesting things to ponder.
One of my favorite Science Fiction movies is called Galaxy Quest. Galaxy Quest parodies Star Trek and related phenomena, but in a way that also honors them. It stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell as the cast of a defunct television series called Galaxy Quest, in which the crew of a spaceship embarked on intergalactic adventures. An alien race ask the actors for help, believing the show’s adventures were real.
In the movie, there is a device called the Omega 13. If activated, it moves time back 13 seconds. When he heard this, one of the actors commented, “Thirteen seconds? That’s not much time.” The “captain” replied, “It’s enough time to undo a single mistake.”
Yesterday EJ was in agony from back pain. He hurt his back years ago, before he met me, by falling down two flights of stairs at work. He is always in pain, it’s just sometimes the pain is bearable and sometimes it is unbearable. His back is bad enough that life is difficult but it’s not bad enough for him to go on disability.
Years ago, we went searching for a house of our very own to buy. We searched and searched and, finally, we came to this house, and we didn’t even get inside when we each felt strongly, “This is OUR house.” So we feel God led us here. It hasn’t been easy living here because we live in a small dying village in a poor county with a lot of poverty, neglect, drug abuse, and alcoholism, and it’s much too close to my difficult family. We’d love to move away and buy a house on a few acres in a more beautiful and nicer place. However, in these economic times, and with EJ’s back the way it is, we do not know if he could find another job. God doesn’t seem to be moving us from here. We’ve talked about moving, and dreamed of moving, but there’s EJ’s back, the economy, and the fact that we have no idea where to go.
So yesterday morning, when EJ was groaning in agonizing pain, I asked him if he ever wished he could activate the Omega 13 to undo a single mistake–such as the day he ran up and fell down two flights of stairs at work.
But we agreed we wouldn’t activate the Omega 13 because even though EJ’s back pain has made life painful and difficult for him, and even though it is one of the things that has sort of made us stuck where we are, the truth is that we have no idea what EJ would have been like had he not suffered as he has. It might be that his back problems has humbled him and taught him to depend on God. It could be that it has taught him that when he is weak, he is strong, and that God’s grace is sufficient. We do understand that if we had not lived in this place, our faith would not have grown as it has. We know that God works all things together for good.
So I guess it’s a good thing there is no such thing as the Omega 13. We’d rather trust God than be tempted to undo something that just might not have actually been a mistake…