Back to the Future

It happened 60 years ago today. November 5, 1955 is the date referred to by Marty McFly in the iconic movie, Back to the Future. It was 30 years ago that the movie hit the theaters, received by overwhelming acclaim. McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, was sent back in time to 1955, where he met his future parents in high school and accidentally became his mother’s romantic love interest. Marty had to repair the damage to history by causing his parents-to-be to fall in love, and with the help of eccentric scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, he had to find a way to return to 1985.

What if you could go back in time? What year would you pick, and where would you go? I might choose the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. on the night of April 14, 1865, where I could have warned President Lincoln to not go to the play that night. I may choose to be in Dallas, on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building at 12:30 on November 22, 1963. Had I been there, I could have stopped Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting President John F. Kennedy. And I could testify to the truth – that Oswald acted alone.

More likely, I’d take the ride back to the future to the Polo Grounds in New York City. The date was September 29, 1954, and the New York Giants were hosting the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the World Series. With the score tied 2-2 in the top of the 8th inning, Vic Wertz was batting for the Indians with two runners on base. he launched Don Liddle’s fourth pitch 420 feet to deep center field. Then the greatest player of all time, Willie Mays, turned his back to the field and sprinted back, making a spectacular catch while running toward the wall. Spinning around, he threw the ball back to the infield, holding the runners on base. The Giants would go on to win the game and the World Series. I would have loved to have been there.

The problem is, you can go back in time only in the movies. Lyndon Johnson said, “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” You can live in the past, but it won’t do you much good. Paul said today is the day of salvation, and to redeem the time. You can think of the past, remember the past, and learn from the past. But you must live in the future. It’s is God’s personal gift to you.

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