We Have All the Time in the World

Rod Taylor in 'The Time Machine'My Real Memoir

The year I turned ten, I saw MGM’s The Time Machine and immediately became obsessed with the idea of time travel. I held my breath in the end when inventor George returned to the future to make it better. And I choked-up when his insightful botanist friend observed, “He has all the time in the world.”

Years later, I was invited to a liquidation sale of props and costumes from the old MGM Studios. Some iconic items were available at absurdly low prices, including Judy Garland’s ruby slippers and Scarlett O’Hara’s curtain dress! But I only had eyes for…the time machine! The asking price was just $1300. Still, I was fresh out of college and that was almost half a year’s rent, so I shed a tear and walked away.

I’ve never stopped obsessing over time, but my understanding of it has changed. First of all, I now understand that time travel is real, and that the relentless progression from past to future is only a perception. Time itself simply is. Have you ever heard someone say, “We visited the Grand Canyon, and it was breathtaking”? Why did they say “was”? Has the Grand Canyon ceased to exist? No, their experience of it has, but the Grand Canyon is still there. Humans are like toddlers who think their mothers cease to exist when they leave the room.

Time simply is. If you look at our planet from the moon you can (theoretically) view the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China in one glance, with no time expended in looking from one to the other. Better yet, when you look at the night sky you can see stars that currently exist “alongside” stars that exploded billions of years ago. Furthermore, quantum experiments show that particles can both exist and not exist at the same time, depending on the perspective from which they are viewed. Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Lucern, Switzerland showed particles, travelling faster than light, actually arriving at their destination before they left. In other words: in the past.

So, if space and time are one (and quantum mechanics says they are), then yesterday still exists. The implications are astounding: If the past is still is, then anyone who has ever lived still is. Which means that to exist, even for a moment, is to live forever. Or at least until the next big bang (Isaiah 65:17). Hence, a narrow, destructive life is not just a shame, it’s a stain on eternity. And a generous, humane life is not just noble, it’s an immortal treasure. Because, as it turns out, we really do have all the time in the world.

So let’s make it count.

Time Machine

My Real Memoir is a series. To read the next one, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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40 Responses to We Have All the Time in the World

  1. And those stars, He knows them all by name!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. As I’m writing my memoir about things that happened many decades ago, I feel like I am time traveling.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. An excellent post, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. AllenW says:

    Hey Mitch, that was a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. robstroud says:

    I have a fascination with genuine props as well.

    As for the film itself, when I read the title I began to get childhood shivers thinking about the Morlocks. Thanks for not taking us there!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Thanks for the mind-boggling head trip, Mitch. Makes me wonder all the more what our experiences will include when “time shall be no more!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Half a Soul says:

    Nice connection to call Isaiah 65:17 the next big bang. That line is going to stick with me. So many think we go “to heaven” and live some completely other existence, perhaps as angels, but in a place that might exist now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pam Webb says:

    If you fancy time travel you must be a Whovian.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Whoaa, thought provoking. Loved reading this!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is the kind of stuff that makes me weep

    Liked by 1 person

  11. #hood says:

    isaiah 90:42 the lord is my dwelling


  12. Interesting post! I remember that movie. Starred Gene Barry, I believe?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Susie says:

    I swear , as I doordashed the other day, as I drove out past Mason to Maineville, I time travelled. Pretty sure I sent thru Back to the Future, Jurassic park, expected to see the Flintstones…. What a drive. Very weird. Ended up in Mayberry and then did it all I. Reverse. I came home and took a nap

    Liked by 1 person

  14. prather742 says:

    I love these words – every one of them! Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mary Sweeney says:

    Loved this, Mitch! I remember Bill and I talking about this blog post when you posted it a few years back. We had a deep conversation about time. Bill, too, has always been fascinated by time travel. It’s kinda deep for my pea brain, but you seem to make it clear here.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. K.L. Hale says:

    Let’s make it count! No wonder I feel as if I’ve lived many lives and have seen more than my eyes remember. I had an RV neighbor named Buz. He fascinated me. He often would share Quantum Physics laws and theories (Laws of Thoughts) and I would tell him he’s over my head and he’d say, “Not really, Karla”, lol ~it’s all relative, Buz! Others would avoid him as he craved his privacy and I met him taking him a dinner one night. I found out that he had a solid career, several decades, on the PGA Golf circuit ~as a writer and with television somehow. Your post reminded me of this meeting. We really do have time. Thank you, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Mitch. Thanks for the spiritual / scientific lecture. As you can see by this comment’s timestamp, I’ve taken your, “all the time in the world” message to heart; taken my sweet time in dashing off this comment. Oops, perhaps, “dashing” is poor word choice? Anyway, onward to the observations. • All starlight is on a time delay (even ol’ Sol’s light takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth). • In essence, each time we pay a monthly utility bill, this amply proves that what happens (<—note the tense) yesterday, does stay with us. • So sorry to hear about your no-go, time machine acquisition lingering regrets; its current price tag has got to exceed that $1300!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Last I heard it belonged to a private collector. Although he does loan it out for some events, including an episode or two of Big Bang Theory (they, like me, considered something of a sacred object). Ah, life in geekdom.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If it’s any “consolation”, I’ll own up to being a Star Trek geek; tho I’ve neither attended their conventions nor own a Starfleet Uniform. Even so, I can deliver, oft verbatim, the TOS episodes’ scripted lines.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: I Grew Up in a Theme Park | Mitch Teemley

  19. Thank you for your post, Mitch. As a spiritual director, I often draw upon this notion of the relativity of time and the continuing presence of the past in inviting folks to the task of healing. We all have experienced that the emotional power of hurt (or joy) remains vivid, regardless of whether the experience happened yesterday or twenty years ago. This allows us to be present to that moment and invite God to be at work for healing. God’s infinite love is both within and beyond time, binding together our past, present, and future. The past can be redeemed; we can be set free.
    Thanks for jumping into the deep end with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. #hood says:

    how many pieces of silver was samson & delilah was tempted for


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